How well you look after your teeth and gums is reflected in your general well being, because there’s a link between your oral health and your overall health.

Failing to take care of your dental health increases the risk of serious problems such as respiratory infections and heart disease.

Fortunately, improving your oral health doesn’t have to mean major changes. A few tweaks here and there to your daily healthcare routine at home can work wonders, particularly if reinforced by regular dental check-ups.

We think the early part of 2019 is as good a time as any to help you make sure your oral hygiene is on the right track, so here are three tips from Fairway Dental Urgent Care Clinic – your Kitchener dentist to keep your smile – and the rest of you – healthy throughout 2019 and beyond.

Oral Health Tip #1: Choose a Toothbrush That’s Right for You

With so many different types of toothbrush available, trying to decide which one is best can be confusing. To put it simply, the best toothbrush is one that fits your mouth and enables you to reach all your teeth easily.

Most dentists and dental hygienists agree that a soft-bristled brush is most effective in removing plaque and food debris.  Small-headed brushes are also good for cleaning hard-to-reach areas of your mouth such as back teeth.

There are many variations of toothbrush handles, including flexible neck and non-slip grips. Pick the one that’s most comfortable for you.

Many people find an electric toothbrush a good investment. Powered brushes can do a better job of getting your teeth clean, particularly if you have restricted manual dexterity.

You should replace your toothbrush – or the brush head of an electric brush – every three months or sooner if the bristles start to show wear.

It’s also advisable to change your toothbrush or brush head after you’ve had a cold. The bristles can collect microbes that can cause reinfection.

Oral Health Tip #2: Don’t Forget about Flossing

Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth. It’s the only way to get rid of bits of food that become lodged between your teeth. If this debris is not removed, it will form bacteria-ridden plaque. Plaque can then harden (calcify) into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional.

The benefits of flossing are numerous, including.

  • Whiter teeth.
  • Warding off gum disease.
  • Avoiding tooth decay.
  • Preventing bad breath.

Neglecting to floss can have more serious consequences than unsightly stains on your teeth, including infection of the gums, which can result in tooth loss and gum recession and spread to other areas of your body.

Flossing also allows you to inspect your mouth more carefully than when you brush your teeth. Redness and swelling of the gums may point to certain medical conditions, including some types of cancer, eating disorders, and HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)/AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

Daily flossing plays an essential role in oral hygiene and can get rid of up to 80 per cent of plaque. Various products are available to strengthen your flossing routine, including dental tape, proxy brushes and orthodontic brushes.

Oral Health Tip #3: See Your Dentist Regularly for Check-Ups

According to the Canadian Dental Association, only a dentist has the expertise to diagnose the condition of your oral health and advise on appropriate treatment.

Your dentist can help you establish a routine of effective brushing and flossing and arrange regular appointments for preventive care. This will give you the best chance of avoiding issues like cavities and gum disease and will also help to improve your general health.

Dental check-ups typically include a professional cleaning by your dentist or dental hygienist to eliminate the bacteria, plaque and tartar that can accumulate despite regular brushing and flossing.

Regular dental visits also give your dentist the opportunity to look for signs of issues with your general health.

Check-ups every six months is the standard recommendation.

Start Your Smile Makeover Now!

Kitchener dentist Fairway Dental Urgent Care Clinic often sees the serious results of oral health neglect, including potentially life-threatening issues such as severe infections and abscesses. Problems like these can be avoided with good oral healthcare at home and visiting your dentist twice a year for a check-up and professional cleaning.

Taking proper care of your teeth and gums is a lifelong commitment, and if your oral hygiene is maybe not all that it should be, this can be the year you make a few simple changes that will help to give you a lifetime of bright smiles and strong and healthy teeth and gums.