It’s no secret that good oral hygiene is vital to keeping teeth and gums healthy, but what you may not know is that the bacteria found in your mouth are often linked to heart disease. Regularly flossing and brushing your teeth can decrease your risk of developing heart diseases and keep your body healthier overall. Good dental hygiene can help support overall health and well-being, and for those who are learning how to have a healthy heart, good dental hygiene practices are one of the simplest steps you can take to support your heart health.
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Establish a Regular Brushing Habit
Brushing your teeth in the morning and at night is a typical brushing schedule for most. More uncommonly, brushing in the middle of the day or after eating something sugary or acidic can provide greater protection for gums and enamel. A regular brushing routine can help to establish a habit for better oral health.
Use Proper Brushing Technique
Believe it or not, there is a right and wrong way to brush your teeth. According to the American Society of Dental Hygienists, to ensure teeth are properly cleaned and all plaque and tartar are removed, you should brush for at least two minutes with the brush placed at a 45-degree angle, rotating the brush in a rolling motion. Brush the outside and inside of your teeth, being careful to get all of the nooks and crannies! Cleaning your tongue and gums is of equal importance to reduce bacteria and eliminate odor.
Treat Flossing with as Much Importance as Brushing
Flossing regularly ensures that plaque and tartar are removed from hard-to-reach places, keeping your teeth free from excess calcium buildup and debris. Flossing should be treated with as much importance as brushing and should become a regular part of your daily routine. If flossing is a difficult habit to work into your routine, you may consider an alternative such as a water flosser or disposable soft picks.
Use a Mouthwash
Even with proper brushing and flossing techniques, it can be difficult to ensure all bacteria and plaque is removed from hard-to-reach areas. Mouthwash can remove up to 99.9% of bad bacteria in the mouth and support the regulation of good bacteria. Using a mouthwash with fluoride can provide an extra enamel-strengthening boost.
Clean Your Brush
Your toothbrush can be home to millions of types of bacteria, including E. coli. To reduce the number of harmful bacteria gathering on your toothbrush, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with water after each use to ensure all debris is removed. Storing your toothbrush in an upright position will allow it to dry more quickly, and it should be stored where it does not touch other brushes.
Replace Your Brush
Frayed toothbrush bristles can trap bacteria and cause damage to gums and enamel. Replacing your toothbrush every three to four months ensures that your brush stays clean and in proper shape to gently care for your teeth and gums.
Visit Your Dentist
Visiting the dentist can ensure there are no additional oral health concerns such as cavities or gingivitis that require special treatment or may cause unwanted discomfort. You should visit your dentist at least twice a year and maintain proper oral hygiene habits between visits.
Good dental hygiene practices can strengthen enamel, prevent tooth decay and support a healthy body. The key to caring for your oral health is to be consistent. A regular dental hygiene routine ensures your teeth and gums are properly cared for in-between dentist visits and helps to maintain a bright, healthy smile.
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“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Luke 6:38 (NIV)