Oral hygiene, or dental hygiene refers to the state of your mouth. It can also refer to the practice of keeping your mouth in a healthy condition.
The quality and consistency of oral hygiene routines between dental visits will determine how well your mouth looks, feels and smells each day. Good oral hygiene is essential for the health of your mouth and your whole body, throughout life.
Dental plaque needs to be physically removed. Correct brushing and flossing routines may be taught and practiced until one becomes skilled at the correct technique. However, maintaining the consistency of oral hygiene, that is, practicing the correct technique and routine twice a day, day in, day out, as the mouth changes over time, is considerably more difficult. This is what the majority of people, worldwide, find challenging and why regular professional oral hygiene visits are of value.
How to Clean Your Teeth
Sounds simple. Stand in front of the bathroom mirror to be able to focus, watch and follow what you are doing. Floss first (use interdental brushes to help, if advised). Then brush the teeth, for 2-3 minutes, with a soft toothbrush, and fluoride toothpaste. Finally, scrape clean the surface of the tongue with a toothbrush or a tongue scraper and rinse your mouth thoroughly twice a day, each day, every day.
What Affects This Routine and What Makes it So Difficult?
Brushing and flossing are manual tasks. Most people will find it difficult to replicate these tasks exactly, each and every time over the long term.
Individual Circumstances There may be variations in dental hygiene techniques and routines over the numerous months between each dental check up. Consider, for example, if you are in a hurry, multi-tasking, distracted, tired, ill, lacking the motivation, struggling to access some areas of your mouth or have physical limitations, the quality of your oral hygiene technique and routine will be affected and so will the results. Time pressures, stress, fatigue, illness, mood, motivation, age, physical dexterity, cognitive abilities, finances and habits may each influence how people are able to care for themselves on a consistent basis.
One recipe will not quite fit all, all of the time. Individual differences in oral hygiene requirements may exist from one person to another. The types of food and beverage you consume, your hydration levels, gastric reflux or other medical conditions, medications and medical treatments, smoking, chewing tobacco or alcohol consumption may each affect individual oral hygiene needs. So too, as one ages, changes will occur in the mouth. Oral hygiene routines may need to be modified, to suit the individual, as time passes.
Variables Within the Mouth The quality of a person's dental enamel, the shape and alignment of the teeth, the presence of gum disease or receding gums, whether teeth have moved or gaps and food traps exist between teeth, if some teeth are missing, if dental work is old and deteriorating and tearing dental floss, or is new and complex and harder to negotiate; all can contribute to hygiene challenges. If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment or wearing a dental appliance such as a retainer, bridge, denture, night splint or sports mouth guard, each will have additional and specific hygiene requirements.
Saliva chemistry - the quality and quantity of saliva can affect the rate of tartar build up in the mouth and how easily the mouth may be cleaned. The types/balance of bacteria in the mouth and immune system along with other factors may influence a person's vulnerability to dental problems and create specific hygiene demands.
We Can Help!
Regular dental visits, at our practice, can support you in maintaining consistency in your oral hygiene routine and oral health, over the long term. At certain times in life, for some people, professional hygiene appointments may need to be more frequent than the usual interval of once every 6 months. People may build up tartar at different rates or have additional health concerns. When tartar (mineralized dental plaque and debris) has formed on teeth, it cannot be removed with a toothbrush.
Professional Teeth Cleaning and Hygiene Advice
Only professional cleans can remove surface stains and tartar build up from teeth. We can achieve this thoroughly and comfortably, leaving your mouth feeling fresh and clean. You will then be able to clean your teeth more thoroughly yourself too. Gums can become healthy and free from inflammation and bleeding. If you have gum disease, we may recommend referral to a specialist Periodontist for deep cleanings and work with them to coordinate specific review intervals for you.
At Melbourne Dentistry, Dr. Maria can help you refine and refocus your home plaque removal routine, particularly around complex dental work or other challenging areas. With motivational advice and tips to improve on your current routine, we can help you your keep your mouth healthy.
Best Toothbrushes, Toothpastes, Flossers, Inter-Proximal Cleaners.......Etc
How confusing is it trying to decide between the multitude of options available on supermarket and pharmacy shelves? Specific types of actions, toothbrushes, toothpastes, flossing materials, interdental cleaning tools, tongue cleaners, mouth rinses and appliance cleaners – the choices seem endless!
We individually prescribe teeth cleaning aids for each of our patients. A program specifically designed for you, will enable you to access all areas of your mouth and make your home care routine much easier. Tailoring these options to your needs will help you choose the right tools and know how to use them.
Additional tips for how to correctly maintain teeth cleaning aids and when and why replacements are indicated are of value in order to achieve optimal results from your home care routine.