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The human mouth is a beautiful, complex system of teeth, gums, and tongue. The mouth is also home to thousands of different kinds of bacteria. While some of these bacteria are useful to us, there are some species of bacteria that are disease-causing and can affect our health. That’s why it’s important to practice good oral hygiene, and if you do these things every day, your teeth and gums will thank you later!

Why Is Oral Hygiene Important?


Good oral hygiene is important because it helps prevent cavities and other dental health problems. It’s also important to keep your mouth clean. If you have bad breath or gum disease (periodontitis), your dentist may recommend using a special mouthwash or a tongue scraper to remove bacteria from the tongue.

Poor oral hygiene can make you more likely to have bleeding gums (gingivitis). In turn, this can make it easier for bacteria from the mouth to enter your bloodstream—which makes your risk of getting heart disease higher than it might otherwise be. The good news is that brushing regularly helps prevent gingivitis from happening in the first place!

How to Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Brush your teeth twice a day (at least).


Brush your teeth at least twice a day. The American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes twice a day (in the morning and evening) with a soft bristle brush. Use fluoride toothpaste in order to protect against cavities and other issues that can cause pain or discomfort. Replace your toothbrush every three months, or sooner if its bristles become splayed or frayed, since this is an indication that bacteria has built up on it.

Floss at least once a day.

Flossing is important because it gets between the teeth, where plaque can build up. Flossing isn’t hard to do at all—in fact, many people find it quite enjoyable! You can use your fingers or an interdental brush if you have trouble with your hands (if you’re unable to hold onto the floss with two hands).

Use an alcohol-free mouthwash.


When you’re looking for a mouthwash, look for one that’s alcohol-free. Alcohol can be harsh on the delicate tissues of your mouth and throat, causing irritation and dryness. If you choose an alcohol-based mouthwash, try to find one that has a low amount of alcohol—some brands are even labeled “non-alcoholic” in order to avoid this issue altogether.

Visit the dentist regularly.


Make sure to visit the dentist every 6 months. The dentist can check for cavities and gum disease, clean your teeth, and inspect them for signs of oral cancer.

Monitor your diet.


You likely already know that too many sweets and fizzy drinks are bad for you. Removing (or reducing) the amount of unhealthy foods in your diet will help your teeth, but so will eating the right foods. Eat foods that are high in calcium and phosphorus (milk, cheese, yogurt). Calcium helps prevent tooth decay, while phosphorus promotes strong enamel on teeth.

The importance of oral hygiene cannot be understated. If you want more information on how to improve your own oral health, reach out to Elite Dental of Summerfield today! Call us at (352) 245-5400 or book an appointment online.