Advice That Will Improve Oral Health

Good oral hygiene does not only protect the teeth and gums from tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease but can lower a patient’s risk of getting heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. The following are some tips on how to improve oral health.

The American Dental Association recommends that patients brush their teeth three times a day. The best toothpaste will be fluoride-based and ADA-approved. Also, toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months or if the bristles become frayed. A worn toothbrush may have too much bacteria trapped within the bristles. In addition, patients should floss between their teeth daily. Flossing removes plaque and food particles that get stuck between the teeth and under the gum line. Dentists also recommend that patients eat a healthy, nutritious diet with lots of fruit and vegetables and avoid sugary foods.

The ADA recommends the use of mouth rinses that reduce bacterial count and prevent dental plaque from forming in the mouth. Dental plaque can cause gingivitis, which if left untreated, could lead to gum disease. Fluoride mouth rinses also prevent tooth decay. However, fluoride mouth rinses are not recommended for children under the age of six as they may swallow the mouth rinse.

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums. Following meals, the bacteria in plaque release acids that attack tooth enamel. Frequent attacks will cause the enamel to weaken which will lead to tooth decay. Plaque that isn’t removed with daily brushing, flossing, and regular cleanings at the Laurel dentists may eventually harden into tartar.

Plaque produces irritants that attack the gums, making them red, tender, and susceptible to bleeding. After a while, gums may pull away from the teeth and the resulting pockets will fill with pus and bacteria. If gums are not treated by a Laurel MD dentist, the bone around the teeth will degenerate. Teeth will become infected and may have to be extracted. To protect the teeth, patients should eat a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, plain yogurt and limit snacking in-between meals.

Any oral infections should not be left untreated. As stated earlier, bacteria from the mouth can be absorbed into the bloodstream which can lead to infections, damage the bones or nerves and even cause death. Laurel dentists can treat dental issues before they lead to infections, thereby promoting overall health.

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