The foundation of good oral hygiene is brushing your teeth properly and regularly. If you stick to a good daily routine of brushing and flossing, you will have a bright smile for longer, you’ll have less problems with cavities and won’t have to visit your dentist so often.
How many times a day should we brush our teeth?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA) we should brush our teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, with a soft-bristled brush.
In order to achieve the optimum dental health, it is also recommended that we brush our teeth for at least two minutes and that we brush every tooth.
Now, brushing your teeth on its own isn’t enough because we can’t reach the space in between our teeth. So this is why it is also recommended to use dental floss or other dental cleaner. This way we can remove the food bits that get stuck between our teeth, that we can reach with our toothbrush.
Skipping these two very important daily routines will cause bacteria to settle on (and in between) your teeth and cause cavities or other dental problems. If you’re not sure what type of floss or flossing technique you should use, discuss it with our dentists. We’re here to help.
How often should infants and children brush?
ADA also says that children and infants should also practice good hygiene. If these habits are formed early, they will become a part of their personality and will continue to practice them. Brushing at young children should begin as soon as the teeth start to peek above the gum line.
When you see an infant’s tooth peeking, you should brush it with a soft-bristle toothbrush for infants. It is also recommended to use small amounts of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.
For children from 3 to 6 years old, they can still use the soft-bristle toothbrush, but should use a pea-size amount of toothpaste. At this age, parents should help their children brush their teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes.
Beware that kids are prone to swallowing toothpaste. So make sure to supervise them until they can spit while brushing.
What happens when you neglect to brush your teeth?
Forgetting to brush your teeth once or twice before going to bed, won’t necessarily cause long-term dental problems. But skipping your evening or morning brushing increases the risk of dental conditions and complications drastically.
The most common problem for neglecting your teeth brushing routine is the formation of plaque and cavities. When we don’t brush, food and bacteria can build up on our teeth, causing plaque, a fuzzy and slippery coating that sticks to our teeth.
Plaque contains bacteria that releases harmful acids which then eat away our tooth enamel and over time, this causes cavities.
The longer the plaque lingers, the higher the chances that you will develop gingivitis (inflamed gums) which will make your gums very sensitive, painful and they can even bleed from time to time. When left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis. This causes your gums to pull away from your teeth and can result in bone loss and loss of teeth.
How can poor dental hygiene affect your overall health?
Everything in our body is connected and poor health in aspect can cause a domino effect on all the others. The same applies to our oral health.
Poor oral hygiene might be a problem of your mouth, at the beginning. But if you neglected long enough it can start affecting different aspects of your health.
Many don’t realize, but poor dental hygiene can seriously increase the risk of heart disease such as atrial fibrillation and heart failure.
Regular visits to your dentist (twice a year), good oral hygiene and routine cleaning at the dentist will boost your dental health and lower the risk of developing various other conditions.