With the constant intake of food and plenty of moisture, the mouth is an ideal place for bacteria to grow. This bacteria can be swallowed or work its way through the skin, causing infection and disease throughout the body. Staying aware of basic mouth hygiene facts can teach you what types of risks there are and what you can to help keep your mouth clean.
Avoiding Cavities and Gum Disease
One of the most immediate concerns associated with mouth hygiene is dental health. If bacteria or food particles build up on the teeth or gum line you are at risk for developing cavities or gum disease.
Taking the steps to keep your mouth clean can help avoid these issues.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Floss daily
- See your dentist regularly for cleanings
Dangers of Gum Disease
In addition to causing harm to your teeth, gum disease can lead to severe health trouble as the condition progresses. Gum disease will start out as gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, which can be reversed with regular oral care. If the disease is left unchecked, it can develop into periodontitis, a severe bacterial infection that increases your risks of:
- Halitosis (chronic bad breath)
- Tooth loss
- Bone loss
- Heart disease
Most people aim to keep their mouth clean because decomposing food particles or excess bacteria can lead to an unpleasant odor known as halitosis. Using mouthwash can mask this odor, but if patients want to eliminate halitosis they will need to brush their teeth and floss to rid the mouth of any lingering debris. You should also brush your tongue to remove plaque buildup that causes odor, though this will need to be done gently to avoid damaging the tissue.
If you are suffering from chronic halitosis, you may have a dental problem that needs to be addressed. A decaying tooth or mouth sores can cause the patient to develop bad breath that will not go away, even with frequent brushing. Visit your dentist to determine the root of the problem and what needs to be done to correct your halitosis.
Proper Nutrition and Oral Hygiene
Eating the right foods is key to keeping your mouth clean. Sugary foods feed the bacteria living in our mouths, allowing these organisms to multiply at a faster rate. Some foods also damage tooth enamel, leading to dental problems and poor hygiene.
- Sodas, which are both acidic and sugary
- Candy or desserts
- Citrus fruits, tomatoes or fermented juices such as wine
Using the Right Tools
One of the most important mouth hygiene facts is that you need to clean your mouth regularly to keep it healthy. You need the right tools in order to do this effectively. Having the right toothbrush and maintaining your toothbrush properly is an important step in promoting good mouth hygiene.
Avoid storing your toothbrush in a case or near a toilet, as this promotes bacteria growth that can make you sick. Rinse the bristles with hot water after every use, and replace your toothbrush after you have been sick. Toothbrushes should be replaced every 3 months to ensure that the bristles can still clean your mouth effectively.