Poor oral health can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, and premature loss of teeth. Oral health problems caused by poor oral health affect more than half of the world and are very common in Australia. By making a few simple lifestyle changes, your oral health can improve, giving you a brighter and healthier smile for life. So, let’s look into what happens when you don’t maintain good oral health and how to fix it.
How does brushing your teeth ensure good oral health?
If you are not brushing effectively plaque, the sticky film that forms on your teeth, will build-up along your gumline. This creates an environment for bacteria to accumulate around the teeth. If left undisturbed this plaque layer will increase in thickness and your gums will become inflamed, red, and bleed easily. This is Gingivitis and if left unchecked, can lead to more serious conditions such as Periodontitis. However, Gingivitis is reversible.
Brushing effectively twice a day and flossing everyday will quickly restore you gums back to health. In just a few days you will notice the bleeding and inflammation will start reducing.
Why is good oral health important?
That same sticky plaque layer that causes gingivitis can also lead to cavities in your teeth. If left undisturbed the bacteria in the plaque feed on the sugars and rigid carbohydrates in your diet and as a result an acid formed. This acid is held next to the tooth in that sticky layer and starts to leech the mineral out of the enamel.
The first signs of decay are “white marks” on the teeth, known as “white spot lesions”. We often see these marks along gumlines where plaque accumulates, and around the brackets in orthodontic patients. If left unchecked these lesions will progress, the enamel will become so weak it will break and a cavity will form.
How do you improve or maintain oral health?
To avoid these issues and ensure you maintain a healthy smile, we recommend the following:
- Effective and thorough brushing and use of interdental brushes (when recommended) will dramatically reduce the risk of marks or cavities on your teeth.
- The use of fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes restore the mineral back to the enamel and greatly reduce white spot lesions and decay. We often recommend Tooth Mousse for use at the end of orthodontic treatment to help prevent tooth decay and combat white spot lesions.
- Regular dental check-ups and professional cleaning will identify any issues you may have and work to resolve them. As well as giving you a clean.
The importance of oral health during orthodontic treatment
Good oral health is key to ensuring your orthodontic treatment is effective and leaves you with a beautiful healthy smile. If issues arise from poor oral health, your orthodontist may need to stop progressing with the treatment, until they clear.
As an experienced specialist orthodontist, we offer treatments across growth irregularities, tooth alignment and teeth whitening. At Toowong Orthodontics, our goal is empower long term confidence and self-esteem. Get in touch to book a consultation and start your smile journey today.