Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is essential for a healthy smile. And maintaining proper dental care is especially important during pregnancy. Good oral hygiene can reduce your risk of tooth decay and cavities, gum disease, and pregnancy gingivitis. Here are some habits that help maintain good oral hygiene.
- Scheduling regular checkups
Your dentist will ask you about your medical history during your initial appointment, and this will help them determine what type of preventive oral healthcare you need to maintain your smile’s health. When plaque is not removed from your teeth regularly, it can lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Both of these oral health issues can eventually cause tooth loss if not treated in time. So for a healthy smile, make sure to schedule your next checkup with your dentist!
During your checkups, you can also get a professional cleaning from one of our experienced dental hygienists. These appointments are more in-depth than the daily brushings and flossing you do at home because they include scaling the teeth and polishing to remove any surface stains. Plus, your hygienist will also check for signs of cavities or other problems during your cleaning as well. If you are due for a checkup and cleaning, contact our office today!
- Brushing and flossing
You should brush your teeth at least twice per day for a minimum of two minutes each time. However, brushing your teeth after every meal and snack will help prevent tooth decay from sugary foods and will freshen your breath. The American Dental Association recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride. Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove the bacteria that cause bad breath. Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner to remove plaque and food particles.
- Eating a healthy diet
It’s important to include a variety of foods in your diet for a healthy smile. However, if you are looking to maintain or improve your overall dental health, it’s also important not to overindulge in sugary and processed foods. Your dentist will be able to recommend a diet that is best for your teeth and gums.
Drinking plenty of water each day is also beneficial for your health, including the health of your teeth. Water helps wash away food particles and bacteria from your mouth while also helping to keep your body hydrated. This can also help prevent dry mouth. A dry mouth can lead to an increase in bad breath as well as tooth damage such as cavities and gum disease.
- Quitting smoking
Everyone knows that cigarettes are bad for your overall health, but few people are aware of the impact that they have on your oral health. Here are some of the ways that quitting smoking could improve your smile:
- Smoking increases your risk of gum disease and oral cancer. Quitting can lower your risk in these areas. Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults, so keeping your gums healthy by snuffing out the habit can have a big impact on your smile.
- Nicotine in tobacco products dries out your mouth. This can cause bad breath and other issues like dry mouth and cracked lips. These problems can lead to infections or sores in your mouth that are difficult to treat.
- Both nicotine and other chemicals found in tobacco can be absorbed through your dental enamel while smoking. This can lead to dark stains on your teeth. Once you quit, these stains should fade over time.
If you or someone you care about is a smoker who would like to improve their smile, talk to us about your options to quit. We have a variety of tools to help patients kick their addiction, as well as tips for managing cravings.
- Protecting your teeth during sports
One of the more dangerous things you can do to your teeth is to participate in sports without mouth protection. This can give you a severe injury that will leave a mark on your beautiful smile for the rest of its days. Mouth guards are your first line of defense against an injury and can help save you money in the long run by avoiding expensive treatments.
If you participate in a sport that poses a lot of risk to your mouth, you should wear a mouth guard at all times to protect your teeth from a potential hit. Mouth guards are also recommended when you’re playing a sport that involves contact with other players, like football.
Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (503) 581-2446 to consult with our dentist, Dr. Giruc, and we will be happy to assist you further.