Great Oral Hygiene Begins at Home
Our teeth chew, bite, and grind every day of our lives. It’s crucial to take care of them. When your oral health is compromised, it can open the door for other health complications, such as digestion issues or gum disease. Poor oral hygiene has even been linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
It doesn’t matter how old you are: if you have teeth, you have to take care of them. Many people think that they only need to see a dentist if they are in pain or believe something is wrong, but regular dental visits can detect issues before they become larger problems. Dr. Oji is specially trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat complications of the mouth and teeth for patients of all ages.
Risks of Poor Oral Health
A common indicator of an unclean mouth is bad breath. However, poor oral hygiene can cause many other problems in addition to an unpleasant odor in your mouth.
- Cavities. These areas of the tooth have been permanently damaged and eventually become holes, which are open to infection and can lead to tooth loss when left untreated.
- Gingivitis. This is a form of gum disease and results from plaque buildup on your teeth due to poor brushing and flossing. Gingivitis can make your gums swell and bleed and can even lead to periodontitis when left untreated.
- Periodontitis. When an infection in your mouth goes untreated, it can spread to your jaw and bones, resulting in tooth decay that cannot be reversed. It can also cause an inflammatory response throughout your whole body.
- Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. A tooth can crack from an injury, hard foods, or grinding. It can become infected or lead to a cavity if the area becomes difficult to clean.
- Sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity can occur after a root canal or filling, in which case it will disappear over time. When persistent, it could be a sign of gum disease, receding gums, a cracked tooth, or worn-down fillings.
- Oral cancer. A dentist is typically the first person to recognize oral cancer. Using tobacco is the biggest risk factor of oral cancer, and the best way to prevent it is to not smoke or use chewing tobacco products. Heavy alcohol use, in addition to tobacco use, places you at an especially high risk.
Brush Up on Your Oral Hygiene!
Follow these tooth brushing basics to make sure you are taking great care of your teeth—and your smile!
- Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes. Don’t forget your tongue!
- Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. An electric toothbrush is even better because they remove plaque more than a manual toothbrush.
- Brush gently with circular, short, back-and-forth motions.
- Rinse your toothbrush with water after brushing, and store it upright when not in use.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 months, or sooner if the bristles splay out.
- Use floss (about 18 in.) to reach the bacteria in the tight spaces between your teeth.
- Floss gently, one tooth at a time. Use it in a teeter-totter motion rather than a sawing motion.
- Mouthwash that contains fluoride is great to use after brushing and flossing.
At-Home Care in Fresno, CA
You have a friend in dentistry who you can rely on. Call our office to schedule your appointment with Dr. Oji. Our highly skilled team will evaluate, diagnose, and treat your oral health as well as provide a wide range of treatment options to help you achieve a healthy smile in Fresno, CA.