Good dental hygiene habits are not only crucial to maintaining the appearance of one's teeth — they also can have a significant impact on a person's overall health. For many people, a daily dental hygiene routine that includes brushing and flossing their teeth significantly reduces their chances of developing dental problems. Other considerations include regular visits to a dental office as well as paying attention to one's breath and appearance of one's teeth.
At minimum, children and adults should brush and floss their teeth once a day. While brushing and flossing may not be possible during the school or work day, individuals may want to keep a toothbrush or floss picks handy in case they have an opportunity to clean their teeth. Good dental hygiene can also help maintain the appearance of a healthy mouth.
Individuals who regularly drink red wine, coffee, or tea may find that these beverages stain their teeth. Tooth staining can be reduced by rinsing the mouth with clean water, or even brushing one's teeth, after drinking a stain-causing beverage. In addition, there are several over-the-counter teeth whitening and stain-removing products on the market that can help clean up yellowed or stained teeth.
Many people are concerned about bad breath, also known as halitosis. In some cases, people who practice good dental hygiene may struggle with this condition. While bad breath can be caused by eating specific foods, it can also be a symptom of a more serious dental or medical problem, such as gum disease, acid reflux, or sinus problems. If a halitosis sufferer finds that eliminating certain foods or increasing their brushing and flossing doesn't resolve the matter, they should make an appointment with their dentist. If the problem does not appear to be dental in nature, the dentist may refer the patient to a medical doctor who can perform his own examination to determine if there is a medical reason for the patient's halitosis.
It's generally recommended that people see a dental hygienist or dentist once every six months. The hygienist or dentist can examine one's mouth, teeth, and gums for any problems, including signs of gum disease, cavities, oral cancer. Dental hygienists can also perform a professional cleaning of the teeth, which may significantly improve their health and appearance. Individuals who want to maintain good dental hygiene but do not have the money to pay for regular dental care may be able to get free or discounted care through schools for dentists or dental hygienists.