dental healthHow many minutes do you brush your teeth in the morning? One minute? Half a minute? You should brush your teeth at least two times a day, at two minutes each session.  Following proper guidelines for brushing helps you keep good oral health.  Good oral health helps keep dental diseases and disorders at bay.

Why Oral Health is Important

If you do a poor job of brushing your teeth, you are putting yourself at risk of developing bad breath and plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria and acids that builds up on your teeth when you don’t brush. When you have plaque, your teeth might feel somewhat fuzzy, and it’s usually a pale yellow, so it’s noticeable to others.  Plaque occurs when your teeth aren’t clean, and there’s a buildup of residue from milk products, and items with sugar, such as candy.   Plaque doesn’t just look horrible on your teeth; it’s bad for your health too.

Plaque’s Attack of Teeth and Gums

The plaque damages enamel in your teeth, causing holes in your teeth. These are called cavities, and they can hurt, especially if the cavity reaches a nerve. Don’t have your cavities treated, and one day you might break a tooth when you’re eating an apple or candy!   Untreated cavities can also lead to a root canal. Root canals are needed when the decay breaks through the enamel to the layer underneath enamel, the dentin.  In a root canal, your dentist will remove all the decayed bits from your tooth and fill your tooth with a sealant. Root canals are expensive and can sometimes hurt; you definitely don’t want one.

Plaque can also cause gingivitis, or an inflammation of your gums. You can suffer bleeding and sore gums. The good news is you can treat gingivitis with a regular brushing and flossing regimen.   If you fail to treat the gingivitis, however, you can develop periodontitis.

Periodontitis causes the gums to move away your teeth and leave big gaps. Bacteria can grow in these spaces, and your body will begin to break down what it thinks are hostile agents: your teeth and bone. You may lose or severely damage a tooth when you develop periodontitis.  Plaque can be very harmful to your mouth and teeth. It begins only 20 minutes after eating, so brush as soon as you can after breakfast and dinner.  Skip a day or two brushing or brush poorly for a long period of time, and you’re in for not so pleasant dental issues.

Practicing Good Oral Health

You can practice good oral health by:

  • Floss daily to remove stubborn pieces of food
  • Use toothpastes with fluoride
  • Drink tap water occasionally – it contains fluoride
  • Stop smoking; smoking can lead to gum disease
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash
  • Limit drinks contain sugar, such as fruit juice and soda
  • Eat food low in acid such as cheese, celery, and other raw vegetables
  • See the dentist for a checkup twice a year
  • If you see a cavity, see your dentist as soon as possible

As you can see, one thing leads to another when it comes to bad oral health.  When you damage your teeth from poor dental hygiene, it can be expensive and painful. Nobody wants to spend time and money for the dentist, so stop half-hardheartedly brushing! Break the chain of plaque, cavities, root canals and more, and brush at least two times a day, two minutes each time. You’ll be keeping your teeth healthy and your mouth happy.

Author Bio:

Melissa Pane is a health enthusiast and blogger who writes for a Oakland, CA dental practice.