As we enter a new year, many people focus on achieving health goals like exercising more or eating healthier. But many people forget that their oral health also needs to be addressed. While brushing and flossing are critical to maintaining good dental health, these routines can only take you so far. Bacteria hides in places that your toothbrush or floss cannot reach, and advanced oral care techniques can help you clean more thoroughly.
Flossing is an effective way to remove bacteria and prevent tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and other serious dental health problems. Flossing removes food debris and plaque from between teeth, and prevents tartar build up which can lead to gingivitis or even more severe conditions that damage gums and teeth, including periodontitis.
Gum disease has been linked to systemic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.2 Gum disease can destroy bone and tissue around teeth, causing tooth loss. It can also cause bad breath, and may be a sign of other dental or health problems, such as cancer. Practicing meticulous oral hygiene and receiving regular dental cleanings can reduce the risk of these conditions, but many patients struggle to establish good habits.
Many of us have heard the advice that you should brush and floss twice a day, but we often don’t follow it. Some people believe that it doesn’t matter which order they do it in, but studies show that flossing before brushing helps remove more plaque and prevents gingivitis and more serious conditions from developing.
If you have trouble establishing a consistent oral care routine, try introducing it gradually. Begin by adding flossing to your nightly routine, then gradually increase the frequency of your toothbrush use. Eventually, you’ll be brushing and flossing regularly and have established the habit.
For older adults who experience difficulty with oral hygiene, it’s important to find ways to encourage and assist them in caring for their teeth and gums. Assisted home care can include a number of strategies, such as allowing the person to brush their own teeth with your assistance or helping them rinse with water. You can also encourage them to eat healthy and avoid sugary foods, which will help prevent cavities and other dental health problems.
If you have a chronic gum disease condition, talk to your dentist in Northbrook about treatment options. They can diagnose the severity of your condition and recommend a course of action. Gum disease is a serious problem that can lead to costly treatments, but you can minimize the risk by practicing a strict dental hygiene regimen, receiving regular professional dental cleanings, and practicing excellent oral hygiene. To learn more about how to improve your oral care routine, contact the team at Boca Raton’s South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. We can help you achieve a happier and healthier smile. Schedule a consultation today!