Oral Hygiene Basics

Good oral hygiene is important for maintaining good overall health. In addition to preventing cavities, poor oral hygiene can lead to other dental and medical problems, including gum disease, heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis.

Follow these tips to keep your teeth healthy:

Brushing Your Teeth Regularly

Patients should brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once daily. Brushing and flossing help remove plaque from teeth, which can destroy the protective enamel coating and cause tooth decay. Plaque can also irritate gum tissue and lead to gum disease. Replacing your toothbrush every three to four months is also recommended to help remove bacteria and keep the bristles fresh.

Avoid Acidic Foods and Drinks

Additionally, patients should avoid eating or drinking acidic foods and drinks as much as possible. If stained teeth are unavoidable, they can maintain good oral health by rinsing out their mouths with water after consuming foods and beverages that stain the teeth. This includes coffee, tea, wine, tomato sauce, berries, sports drinks, dark sodas, and more. After eating and drinking, patients should also swish water around in their mouth to remove food particles from the mouth before brushing. Doing so can help prevent staining and ensure all the surfaces of the teeth are being cleaned thoroughly.

Flossing Daily

Proper flossing is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene and limiting your risk of developing common oral health problems, such as cavities and gum disease. Your toothbrush can’t reach every space in between your teeth, where bacteria can hide and cause decay. That’s why it is important to floss at least once a day—preferably at night before you go to bed.

You should be flossing your entire mouth, including between all teeth and around each of your tooth’s gumlines. You should also floss the sides of your teeth as well as the back of your teeth to remove any plaque buildup. When flossing, work gently and carefully around your gums so that you don’t irritate or injure them.

Avoiding Tobacco Products

Tobacco products, including cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, can have serious negative effects on your oral health. In addition to causing bad breath and staining your teeth, they increase your risk for gum disease and other oral health problems.

Smoking is a significant risk factor for periodontal disease, which is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the U.S. Smokers are twice as likely to develop periodontitis as non-smokers and are at an even greater risk of developing advanced forms of the disease that affect bone and soft tissues that support the teeth. Cigarette smoke can also decrease your ability to fight infection by suppressing your immune system, which increases your risk of oral infections. Additionally, smoking raises your risk for oral cancer.

Scheduling Regular Checkups

It’s important for a dentist to examine a patient’s teeth at least once a year. By scheduling regular appointments, any developing conditions can be caught and treated quickly before they can develop into more serious issues. If patients know they are due for their next appointment, they can schedule it ahead of time and not have to worry about remembering to schedule it at a later time.

Regular visits also allow patients to avoid common oral health problems that they might not notice or understand until they begin to cause pain. When patients are in between appointments, they may not pick up on developing problems until it’s too late to address them. This can result in the need for invasive procedures that could have been avoided had they been diagnosed earlier.

For more information about oral hygiene, visit Englewood Dentistry at 334 Grand Ave, Englewood 07631, or call (201) 541-8111.


334 Grand Ave,
Englewood, NJ 07631

Office Hours

MON10:00 am-6:00 pm

TUE9:00 am-5:00 pm

WED10:00 am-6:00 pm

THU - FRI9:00 am-5:00 pm

SAT9:00 am-3:00 pm