As you get older, you’ll realize how important proper oral hygiene is. There are ways you can keep tabs on your oral health every month or so. Check your mouth for white and red patches, tongue flakiness, pigmented lesions, and sores with uneven borders. Oral cancer is rare with non-smokers, but it’s still possible to get it. In order to check yourself for it, look at your outer and inner lips, and all sides of the tongue. Look on the outside and inside if you cheers, and if there’s ever abnormalities that last longer than 14 days, ask a dental expert about it.
Here are some things that you can pay attention to in order to protect your oral health:
Canker sores: these tend to pop up when people are stressed. You can try a topical pain reliever directly on the spot. Dentists can also use a soft-tissue laser to get rid of them.
Fix bad breath: If you’re not sure that you have bad breath at any given moment, use a cotton ball or gauze pad on the back of your tongue and smell it. Whenever you brush your teeth, make sure to also get the back of your tongue, since this is where bacteria really like to proliferate. Alcohol is found in most mouthwashes, but the problem with that is that alcohol helps dehydrate — thus drying the gums and reducing saliva flow. After this, the bacteria multiples and causes the halitosis to worsen. Keep in mind that TheraBreath sells an alcohol-free mouthwash!
Back of the mouth: Make sure to get this area when brushing, especially along the gum lines. If you have a hard time accessing that area when brushing, slighty open the mouth.
Floss, floss, floss! This is especially needed to prevent tartar buildup. Toothbrushes can only get so far between the teeth–only 1 millimeter under the gums. The problem is that gum pockers are usually 3-4 millimeters, which is deeper. The bacteria feeds off the particles that get caught in these pockets, and if you don’t take care of the issue, you’ll have tooth decay and in extreme cases, jawbone loss. Keep in mind that 80% of adults allegedly have a form of gum disease!
By practicing good oral hygiene, you’ll help keep your smile white and clean!