Oral Hygiene and Your Health

woman at the dentistWe know that our results are a product of our efforts. Our mothers taught us that when we were young and we are teaching it to our children now. This same basic principle applies to taking care of our mouth, teeth and gums. Just going through the motions isn't enough. We need to know how to properly care for our oral health and in turn, teach our kids. Poor oral hygiene can lead to periodontal disease, which has a direct link to systemic health problems. Knowledge and prevention are key.

>> Did you know: Periodontal disease can predispose you to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, bacterial pneumonia, preterm labor and low birth weight babies.

Make sure you visit your dentist at least two times a year The dentist and hygienist will measure your gums for periodontal disease and gingivitis, along with provide the appropriate cleaning for you. Periodontal disease appears in healthy adults and often times has a genetic link. So even if you are doing everything correctly, you could still have periodontal disease.

Brush your teeth This sounds simple enough but we are not only in charge of our  own hygiene but now we are in charge of teaching our little ones. - Place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle where the gums and the tooth meet. - Move the brush in a slow circular motion (do not scrub back and forth) - Brush the outer surfaces of your teeth (cheek side), then inner surfaces (the tongue & roof of your mouth), and then the chewing surfaces. - Brush your tongue to help remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

>> Need to whiten up your teeth? Here are 11 simple ways to do so.


Floss your teeth - Tear off about 18 inches of floss and wind each end around your middle finger of both hands. Hold the floss between your thumb and index fingers. - Guide the floss in between your teeth using an rubbing motion. Be careful not to "snap" the floss into your gum tissue. - When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it around the tooth into a C shape. - Floss between all of your teeth. Start on the upper right and then go to the upper left, then the lower left to lower right.

Want to learn more about your children's teeth? Read our Parent's Guide to Kid's Teeth.