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The Pitfalls of Poor Oral Hygiene

Maintaining proper oral hygiene techniques at home can mean the difference between a healthy, happy smile and a discolored, embarrassing one. So what can you do if you’re not happy with your smile? The answer is simple: visit your dentist regularly. Then, while you’re there, ask the right questions. Ask them what kind of toothbrush you should use, how to floss properly and whether or not you should be using any special appliances or tools. You can search all over the internet for proper oral hygiene techniques, but in reality, your dentist knows your history and can recommend the best products and behaviors to help maintain a healthy smile.

After your appointment, you need to apply those techniques to your everyday brushing routine. Here’s an idea of how you can improve your oral hygiene at home:

Brush twice a day – Brushing is great for your teeth and gums. It is recommended that you brush after every meal and right before you go to bed.
Floss once a day – Making sure to floss before you go to bed is one of the best ways to maintain healthy gums.
Preventative care – Patients are recommended to visit their dentist at least twice a year. Preventative treatments allow your doctor to monitor and treat any possible problems.
Stay clean – Clean your toothbrush regularly and understand when to replace an overused toothbrush.
Healthy teeth are not just white; they are thoroughly cleaned and have no cavities or bacteria buildup. Healthy gums are pink and firm, they should never bleed while brushing. If you do not maintain a regular brushing or flossing routine, you might notice that your teeth have become discolored, your gums bleed easily and plaque has built up in the small, hard to reach areas of your mouth.

Plaque is a sticky combination of bacteria and food that begins to accumulate on your teeth within 20 minutes of your last meal. If you do not clean your teeth well enough, plaque will build up and eventually develop into tartar. Untreated tartar buildup can lead to serious periodontal issues. These conditions include:

Cavities – Small holes that damage the structure of your teeth and often cause pain after eating sweet, hot or cold foods and drinks.
Gingivitis – Swollen, inflamed and bleeding gums. This is treatable through various professional cleaning procedures.
Periodontal Disease (gum disease) – If gingivitis goes untreated, it can lead to gum disease. This condition causes the destruction of the bone and ligaments that support the teeth, often leading to tooth loss.
Halitosis (bad breath) – Bad breath that is most commonly related to poor oral hygiene and is caused by the release of sulphur compounds by bacteria in the mouth.



Ever wonder about baby teeth?  What’s normal development?  How should you treat a cavity in a baby tooth?  When should you worry?  Here are some myths and facts with regards to baby teeth:

Myth # 1

     Baby teeth don’t matter, because they’re going to fall out anyway.


     Unhealthy baby teeth can mean unhealthy permanent teeth, since bacteria can be passed down from one top tooth to the one waiting underneath.

Myth # 2

     A baby’s oral health isn’t a big deal until the first tooth appears.


     Healthy gums are just as important as healthy teeth – babies’ gums need to be cleaned after every meal.

Myth # 3

     Baby teeth have no effect on permanent teeth.


     Baby teeth can have a huge impact on how permanent teeth come in.  These 20 “temporary teeth” help make adequate space in the mouth for the 32 permanent teeth.  If some are missing because they had to be pulled, it could result in “crowded” permanent teeth.  The spacing and structure of primary teeth also help children develop clear speech, chew certain foods such as crunchy celery and carrots.  

Myth # 4

     Dentist appointments can wait a few years


     Babies should visit the dentist within six months of the eruption of their first tooth or by the age of one year for an assessment of growth and development.

If you ever have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s dental care or would like to schedule a visit, give us a call at 734-878-3167 or at

The above information was referenced from a great article by Sally Rummel printed in the Healthy Teeth/Healthy Body publication July 13, 2014