Oral hygiene is the best way to achieve a beautiful and healthy smile. General dentist Dr. Michael Chung promotes dental health with dentistry services for people living in Washington DC and Northern Virginia, including Fairfax and Oakton.
Possible Outcomes of Poor Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene allows plaque to accumulate on your teeth. Without regular removal of plaque, the filmy substance eats away at your enamel and gum tissue. Dental health risks posed by poor oral hygiene include:
- Tooth decay and cavities
- Gum disease
- Tooth loss
- Gum recession
- Bad breath
Poor oral hygiene also has cosmetic implications for your smile. Teeth that are not cared for may appear worn, yellow and decayed. Regular brushing, flossing and dental cleanings help you maintain a smile that looks healthy. You can increase the natural brightness of your smile with teeth whitening.
In recent years, studies have linked gum disease to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. More recently, a study by the American Heart Association found that gum disease does not directly cause heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. Although poor oral hygiene may not be a direct cause of heart attack and heart disease, researchers and medical professionals agree that infection in your mouth can lead to inflammation elsewhere in the body, which can damage blood vessels.
Improving Poor Oral Hygiene
It is never too late to get back in the habit of good oral hygiene. A good routine includes:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day, at a 45 degree angle to the gums in gentle circular motions.
- Flossing once a day, gently moving the floss up and down the contour of your tooth and underneath the gumline.
- Sticking to a schedule of dental exams and professional teeth cleanings every six months.
These are the hallmarks of good oral hygiene. With regular brushing, flossing and dental appointments, you can significantly reduce your risk of gum disease, cavities and severe dental problems. You can incorporate other practices as well, including rinsing your teeth with water after eating and avoiding sugary, starchy foods that cavity-causing bacteria love.
To learn more about improving your oral health, please contact Softouch Dental Care by calling 703-319-6990 to schedule a consultation with experienced Washington, DC general dentist Dr. Michael Chung. We serve the areas of Reston, Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Oakton and the surrounding Northern Virginia areas.