Dental hygiene refers to the way that teeth are maintained such as cleaning, flossing and diet preference. A lack of dental hygiene can lead to cavities developing in the teeth and gum disease. Your Oakville, Ontario dentist can discuss with you what you should be doing to improve your own dental hygiene and what can be done if you are already suffering from problems such as damaged teeth. A visit to the dental hygienist once a year can also help to remove any plaque that has been hardened into tartar, which is almost impossible to remove with a toothbrush.
Things that you can do yourself
Much dental hygiene can be done by one self. This means brushing the teeth twice a day and flossing at the same time. This helps to remove sticky food remains and any bacteria which seek out these remains. If food remains are allowed to accumulate, they will form plaque – a haven for bacteria. Usually, the plaque is located at the junction of teeth and gums, especially behind the teeth. This can lead to cavities developing in the teeth as well as gingivitis, which is the early stage of gum disease.
Your Oakville, Ontario dentist may also recommend using an antiseptic mouthwash that helps to reduce bacteria in the mouth as well as dietary changes. Avoiding too much processed food, sweet food or sweet drinks can help to reduce the incidence of plaque forming on your teeth.
Problems caused by poor dental hygiene
Cavities themselves can allow bacteria to penetrate further into the interior of the teeth and cause an infection, so good dental hygiene can be seen as taking out insurance against an infection and the need for a filling or more extensive tooth reconstruction later in life.
Gingivitis can lead to a more serious health problem known as periodontitis, where he gum itself starts to become eroded by bacterial action and can lead to the premature loss of teeth.
Plaque and gum disease are the major causes of bad breath in addition to being a potential health problem in their own right.
The value of a dental hygienist
Every dentist’s surgery normally has a dental hygienist who cleans your teeth more thoroughly. In particular, they are able to remove tartar, which is a calcified form of plaque and needs specialist treatment to be scraped off. It is best to schedule a session with the hygienist once a year to prevent further problems.