Oral hygiene plays an important role in your overall health. But simply brushing your teeth twice a day might not be able to keep all the bacteria in your mouth at bay.
The oral microbiome refers to all the bacteria that live within your mouth. Some of these healthy bacteria can prevent problems like tooth decay, while other harmful bacteria in your mouth can lead to more serious issues like cavities and disease. Maintaining the proper levels of good and bacteria in the oral microbiome is important. If the balance is thrown off, the excess harmful bacteria can lead to gingivitis, bad breath, cavities, and tooth loss.
A recent study compared the microbial diversity of flossers and non-flossers, discovering that by physically removing the bacteria the flossers had less harmful bacteria in their mouths. Follow along for oral hygiene tips from Taylor Dental to protect your oral biome, strengthening your overall health.
Why Flossing Is Important
Flossing plays a vital role in removing bacteria from your mouth, creating a happier and healthier you. While brushing your teeth cleans the surface of your teeth, your toothbrush can’t always reach the gaps between your teeth — causing a buildup of plaque. When this happens, you’re subjecting yourself to cavities, tooth decay, and gingivitis. If gum disease goes untreated, you’re putting yourself at a greater risk for health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Along with impacting your overall health, flossing also improves the appearance of your teeth and helps minimize bad breath.
4 Tips for a Healthier Mouth
To keep your mouth healthy you should be flossing daily. If you’re looking for other ways to step up your oral hygiene game, you’re in luck. Our team has compiled a list of tips to prevent dental issues and promote good oral hygiene.
1) Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day (At a Minimum!)
This should be a no-brainer by now, but you need to brush your teeth twice a day (more depending on the types of food and drinks you’re consuming). When plaque builds up on your teeth and transforms into bacteria, it can impact the structural integrity of your teeth. Reduce plaque buildup with a consistent brushing schedule—and don’t forget to brush your tongue too!
Pro Tip: Use an electric toothbrush for an extra clean mouth. The oscillation and vibration of the electric toothbrush make removing plaque and bacteria a much easier process. Those who use an electric toothbrush regularly have much healthier teeth and gums.
2) Schedule Semi-Annual Cleanings
The easiest way to maintain a healthy smile is through preventative care, such as visiting the dentist twice a year for a checkup. Professional teeth cleanings are the most effective way of cleaning up buildup, tartar, and plaque bacteria. Regular dental cleanings allow for early detection of tooth decay, cavities, or other harmful oral diseases. While your dentist is well equipped to treat any dental issues that might arise, it’s a lot easier to prevent problems before they start.
3) Reduce the Amount of Sugar in Your Diet
A high sugar diet encourages the growth of bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to problems like periodontal disease. Whether you’re prone to cavities or simply looking for a way to improve your oral hygiene, reducing the amount of sugar you consume is a great first step. Limit sugars in food, especially condiments or sticky candy. These sticky ingredients can get caught between your teeth, and if not properly removed with dental floss, can lead to tooth decay.
4) Eat a Plant-Based Diet
A plant-based diet consists of foods derived from plants, including vegetables, grains, lentils, tofu, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruits. Introducing these more heavily into your diet can help create a more balanced oral biome, leading to overall better wellness. Even if you can’t go all plant-based, reducing animal products and increasing plant-based food will make a difference.
Pro Tip: Incorporate vegetables like carrots or celery into your diet. Because of their texture, these vegetables will naturally brush the surface of your teeth (you’ll still need to brush though!).
Schedule Preventative Dental Care with Dr. Taylor
With proper oral hygiene, you’ll find yourself with a cleaner, healthier smile — reducing the amount of plaque buildup and bacteria that can lead to harmful oral diseases. Dr. Taylor and his exceptional staff can help you determine the steps to take to improve your oral hygiene. Contact Taylor Dental in Billings, MT, to schedule an appointment for preventative care. We look forward to helping you improve your oral health!