Dental hygiene has been part of our daily routines for most our lives. It’s so ingrained, in fact, that we often practice out without really giving it much thought. Unfortunately, thoughtless hygiene is nearly as ineffective as a complete lack of hygiene, which is why the routine may not seem like it can prevent anything to some patients. The truth, however, is that the secret to good and effective preventive hygiene is to remain consistent about it, and not be fooled into growing less diligent about keeping your smile healthy.
The most important and consistent tenets of a good hygiene routine is keeping your teeth clean of plaque and food particles every day. On a day-to-day basis, that means brushing your teeth at least twice and flossing at least once (preferably, before you go to bed). The goal of this routine is to keep the plaque that builds on your teeth at bay. Otherwise, it could quickly calcify into tartar. The hardened, calcified version of plaque, tartar makes it impossible for you to remove harmful oral bacteria from your teeth. As long as it remains there, the bacteria it harbors have a greater chance of successfully impacting your oral health.
To highlight how important good, consistent hygiene is to preventing dental health concerns, consider what a day without dental hygiene can do to your teeth and oral tissues. Every day, oral bacteria continuously accumulate on your teeth surfaces, forming the sticky biofilm we call plaque. After a day or more of not being cleaned away, plaque will calcify into tartar, also known as calculus. Unlike plaque, tartar can’t be brushed away, and it won’t dissolve in toothpaste and water. The only way to remove it will be to visit your dentist for a professional teeth cleaning appointment.
When tartar develops on your teeth, the threat it poses will determine how long it takes you to attend another professional dental cleaning, and how much more tartar you allow to develop in the meantime. This is why consistency in both your dental hygiene at home and your preventive care at your dentist’s office matters so much. The bacteria that form plaque and tartar are also responsible for the harm that conditions like tooth decay and gum disease cause. Preventing bacteria from building up too much and too often is the key to preventing such conditions from forming and protecting your oral health from their consequences.
By sticking to a good hygiene routine on a consistent basis, you have a good chance at preventing several common, but potentially serious, oral health concerns. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Yelena Popkova D.D.S. in Merrimack, NH, today at 603-595-9400. We also serve the residents of Nashua, Hudson, Manchester, Milford, and all surrounding communities.