If you have ever received bad news during a dental exam because of poor dental hygiene between appointments, you probably want to ensure that the care of your teeth and gums continually improves. Dental decay occurs when acids produced by oral bacteria dissolve your tooth enamel. Additionally, these acids inflame gum tissues to incite gum disease. In order to decrease the negative effects of acid and oral bacteria on your oral health, you should take additional measures in addition to regular brushing and flossing. Here are a few of them:
Use anti-bacterial rinses.
Mouth rinses that are antimicrobial can help minimize the number of bacteria in the mouth and consequently, the amount of acid. Commercial germ-killing mouth rinses may include ingredients, such as chlorhexidine or alcohol. Chlorhexidine is the preferred ingredient, because it does have a drying effect on the mouth. Alcohol dries out the mouth, and the reduction in moisture can make it difficult for the mouth to naturally wash away germs, plaque and food particles from the teeth and gums.
Sugarless gum can also be an effective supplement to your oral health regimen. Here are a few oral health benefits of chewing gum:
- Increased saliva production
- Mechanical removal of plaque and food particles due to stickiness of gum
- Exposure of mouth to antibacterial agents, such as xylitol and cinnamon
- Whiter teeth if titanium dioxide, baking soda, or malic acid is an ingredient
Rinse your mouth after eating.
You may not have a toothbrush and toothpaste available to brush after every meal and snack, especially if you are away from your house. However, you will likely have access to water.
Water, whether bottled or from a tap, can be used to rinse your mouth after you eat. The rinsing helps dislodge edible debris left in your mouth after your meal. Additionally, it can help remove plaque and oral bacteria, as it dilutes oral acid.
Water can also be a good source of fluoride. The mineral, which coats the enamel surface when introduced in the mouth, helps attract phosphorous and calcium back to the teeth. Fluoride combines with the displaced minerals to form a more acid-resistant tooth material, so your teeth are less susceptible to decay.
Use a water flosser.
In addition to regular flossing and brushing, a water flosser can be used to remove oral bacteria, food, and plaque from between the teeth and along the gum line. The flow of the water can also massage the gums to promote good circulation.
To learn more ways to promote good oral health, schedule a consultation at a clinic such as Adams Dental Center.