When one of my cousins was a little girl, she was never expected – or shown how – to brush her teeth. Dental hygiene was not a priority in her household. Not even six years old at the time, she was the only child of normal resources I had ever seen with totally rotted teeth.
The Routine of Dental Hygiene
Unlike my cousin, most people learn dental hygiene practices early in childhood. If you do not have a dental hygiene routine, your dentist in Victoria BC will likely recommend these tips:
- Thoroughly brush your teeth twice a day – in the morning, and before bed, for two to three minutes at each brushing. Brush the front and back sides of your teeth.
- Brush your tongue on the top and side surfaces.
- Floss at least once every day and be sure to floss the sides of all teeth. Ask the hygienist to show you the most effective flossing method.
The dental team at Royal Oak Dental Clinic can recommend the tools and products best suited to your dental care needs.
- Use a toothbrush with a soft bristle rating. Some studies have found that electric or battery-operated toothbrushes that have a rotating and oscillating action are more effective at cleaning teeth. An electric or battery-operated toothbrush may be easier to handle for some people with physical challenges such as arthritis or tremors.
o After brushing, the toothbrush should be rinsed and allowed to air dry.
o Replace toothbrushes every three to four months.
- Flosses come in a number of varieties – waxed, unwaxed, flavored or unflavored, on a spool or an interdental cleaner. The important thing about any type of flossing system you choose is to use it – regularly!
- Your dentist may also recommend that you use an irrigation system. This system is a companion to, not a replacement for regular flossing.
Bad Breath, Decay, Gum Disease – and what else?
Your dentist in Victoria BC has probably told you about dental problems that can happen when you do not follow a healthy dental hygiene routine. You might be surprised to know some of the health benefits and challenges related to dental hygiene:
- Overall health is improved, risk of serious disease is reduced and even mental health can be protected.
- Chronic inflammation from gum disease may negatively affect the cardiovascular system, causing (or exacerbating) heart disease, blockages, and strokes.
- There may be a correlation between gingivitis and poor performance on memory tests and cognitive skills assessments.
- You may be more prone to infections in other parts of your body. Studies have linked gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
It’s never too late to develop a healthy dental hygiene routine. Your overall health may improve and you may even reduce or reverse some adverse health conditions. The team of dentists, technicians and hygienists at Royal Oak Dental Clinic will help you develop the hygiene plan best suited to your needs.