Maintaining a Healthy Mouth: Is Brushing & Flossing Enough?

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Young Woman Maintaining Oral Health at Home by Brushing Teeth

Regular brushing and flossing are certainly important in the context of at-home oral health, but is it really enough to ensure a healthy mouth? Unfortunately, no. While there’s no doubt that self-maintenance aids in keeping your mouth looking and feeling clean, oral health is much more complex.

As we’ve noted in the past, poor oral health can be linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other serious complications. While you may certainly do the best you can with the time and resources you have at home, maintaining a truly healthy mouth requires routine visits to your local dentist’s office. Here are just a few reasons why.

Plaque buildup can be tricky

Plaque is a sticky substance that adheres to your teeth and can be especially difficult to remove with brushing alone. Any plaque buildup you are unable to remove in its softened state will eventually harden into tartar, or dental calculus, which contributes to tooth discoloration, bad breath, decay, and serious forms of gum disease. The only effective way to remove tartar is with specialized dental instruments in the hands of a dentist or hygienist.

Your technique may be off

How much thought are you really putting into the way you brush and floss your teeth? Half the time, you’re either still waking up in a fog or are about to hop into bed for the night and just want to get it over with. Improper technique is a major contributing factor to plaque buildup. ADA recommendations include brushing for at least two minutes twice a day while holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle.

Even if you are one of the few who can say they do this, it’s likely your standard toothbrush still isn’t getting to those hard-to-reach areas. You didn’t do anything wrong; it’s just that your toothbrush is designed to clean at a surface level. Flossing helps to gain access to buildup between the teeth, but any plaque hiding below the gum line will go unchecked.

Gum disease can be a silent foe

When something is off in other areas of the body, there are usually warning signs, such as pain. Unfortunately, with various forms of gum disease, there are no symptoms to tip us off that it’s time to see a professional. Although regular brushing and flossing can help keep your mouth clean, the best way to prevent gum disease is to schedule routine visits with your dentist. While it can be treated and reversed in its early stages, the same cannot be said if left to progress. The best you can do at that point would be to manage it with deep cleanings performed by your dentist.

As your local dental care providers in Bakersfield, CA, we always appreciate any effort you put into your at-home oral hygiene regime. However, there really is only so much you can do to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy on your own. Oral health is integral to overall health and one of the best investments you can make in yourself. Schedule your next visit with Capital Dental Group today and allow our team of dentists and skilled dental hygienists to put you on a better path to wellness.