Maintaining a healthy smile is often taken for granted. We wake up, quickly brush our teeth, go about our day, come home, quickly brush again, go to bed, and then start all over. The routine habit of brushing your teeth may seem trivial in the grand scheme of things, but rigorous home care is just as important as your bi-annual trip to the dentist. Here are just a few of the reasons why brushing regularly is vital:
Plaque and bacteria prevention
Plaque is one of the greatest threats to your dental health. A combination of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that clings to teeth and gums, plaque is as gross as it sounds. Without proper care, plaque will eat away the enamel on your teeth. Once the enamel erodes, plaque has paved the way for cavities and the general decay of your beautiful smile. Brushing twice a day is the easiest way to prevent this kind of buildup.
Avoiding Gum Disease
Getting a cavity after plaque buildup is unfortunate enough, but gum disease is even worse. Plaque will sometimes form an ugly yellow lining on the base of your teeth where your gum line begins. This bacterial growth is one of the first signs of gum disease, also known as Gingivitis, where the gums become enflamed and bleed during flossing. There are many causes of this, but poor oral hygiene is the most preventable cause.
Avoiding tooth stains
Most of us have looked in the mirror expecting to see a row of pearly white teeth, only to realize our smile isn’t as shiny as we want it. In fact, it has a tint of yellow! Let’s be honest; no one wants a yellow smile. The good news is that toothpaste contains mild abrasives that eliminate surface stains, making it easier to avoid discoloration. If regular brushing occurs, coffee and food stains can be prevented. A helpful tip is to brush shortly after eating or drinking. Rinsing with water after eating or drinking is also recommended.
Killing Bad Breath
If your significant other is having a difficult time kissing you, it may be time to rethink your brushing habits. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, comes from various causes like odorous foods, tobacco products, bacterial growth, or just waking up in the morning. Most of the time, getting rid of bad breath is as simple as brushing more frequently and with the proper techniques. Don’t forget to floss every time you brush, as it removes odorous bacteria between the teeth. Brush your tongue too! Otherwise it becomes a bacterial hotbed that’s unpleasant to be around.
Remember, thirty-second brushing is not effective. Proper brushing time should be between two to three minutes, and should cover every tooth, front and back. It’s usually wise to floss prior to brushing since flossing loosens food particles, which can then be brushed away more easily.
Next time you pick up your toothbrush, remind yourself what a big favor your doing for your oral health. Happy brushing!