Your Oral Hygiene Routine: At-Home Care, Dental Office Visits, And More

Do you need a new oral hygiene routine? From at-home care to a regular dental office visit schedule, take a look at the reasons to change your oral hygiene regimen and how to create a new routine right now. 

What Is An Oral Hygiene Routine?

As the name implies, an oral hygiene routine is regular care (a routine) that can help you to maintain your oral (teeth, gums, and mouth) cleanliness and health (hygiene). Basic oral hygiene tasks or acts include:

  • Regularly brushing your teeth. To maintain adequate oral hygiene the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. 

  • Regularly flossing your teeth. Even though brushing can remove cavity-causing debris and reduce plaque, a toothbrush might miss the in-between or hard-to-reach spaces. This is where floss comes in. 

  • Regularly rinsing your mouth. While mouthwash isn't essential, it can help you to maintain your oral health routine—especially if your toothbrush and paste aren't available. 

Along with at-home care, regular visits to a general dentist for check-ups and cleanings should become cornerstones of your oral hygiene routine. Most adult dental patients need to visit the dentist's office once or twice each year. But some people may need extra appointments. If you have dental health risks, a history of dental or gum disease, or another similar issue, ask the dentist for an individualized visit schedule.

Do You Really Need To Change Your Oral Hygiene Routine?

Is your oral care routine adequate—or could it use an upgrade? If you're not sure whether you need to change your daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly dental health regimen, consider:

  • The health of your teeth. Are your teeth healthy? If you have areas of decay, noticeable tartar buildup, loose teeth, or your teeth interfere with your ability to eat or talk easily, it's time for an oral hygiene routine change.

  • Your gum health. Do your gums bleed when you chew or brush? Are they painful, red, or swollen? These are all signs of periodontal disease. Never ignore these symptoms. Bleeding, discolored, uncomfortable, or inflamed gums all signal the need for more care.

  • Your breath. Infections, decay, and other oral issues can cause bad breath. Provided this symptom doesn't have another known cause, you may need to step up your oral care routine. 

If you're not sure whether your oral hygiene routine needs a subtle change or a major overhaul, talk to your dentist. The dentist can examine your mouth, diagnose potential problems, assess your dental health risks, and help you to create a hygiene routine that fits your specific needs.

Reach out to a dental office near you for more information.