Normally the body's natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Oral health affects our ability to eat, speak, smile, and show emotions. Oral health also affects a person’s self-esteem, school performance, and attendance at work or school. Oral diseases—which range from cavities and gum disease to oral cancer—cause pain and disability for millions of people. So you should keep your oral hygiene up to speed.
What are the basic of oral hygiene?
To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene on daily basis:
Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste.
Use mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing.
Eat a healthy diet and limit sugary food and drinks.
Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if bristles are splayed or worn.
Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
Avoid tobacco use.
Visit your dentist at least once a year, even if you have no natural teeth or have dentures.
Like other areas of the body, your mouth teems with bacteria — mostly harmless. But your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and some of these bacteria can cause disease.
Your oral health offers clues about your overall health — or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body.