Did you know that your mouth is host to a number of different strains of bacteria? Bacteria are tiny living organisms that move, grow, eat, reproduce, and more. These bacteria function in an ecosystem within your mouth called the “human oral microbiome.” Bacteria make up a large part of this microbiome. Just one mouth can be host to more than 6 billion bacteria! Living in diverse communities within your mouth, some of these bacteria communities are healthy and others can be detrimental to your health. It is important to understand the role of bacteria in your mouth and its potential effects on your oral health. While there are helpful bacteria that reside within the mouth, the wrong types of bacteria play a central role in causing problems that affect your oral health, such as:
How can a person fight against the harmful effects of these bacteria within their mouth to ensure the best oral health possible? A solid oral health routine goes far in preventing the wrong bacteria from causing harmful decay and inflammation. To fight bacteria, stay vigilant with the following:
1 – Brush your teeth twice per day, and do not forget to brush your tongue and gums (gently) as well. Brushing the tongue and gums helps disrupt harmful bacteria.
2 – Floss at least once per day. This is particularly helpful in dislodging and disrupting the bacteria that reside under the gum line. Without flossing, the harmful bacteria living in these areas will be left untouched and allowed to thrive.
3- Maintain regular dental cleaning exams every six months. Your hygienist is able to remove layers of plaque and tartar that is not possible to remove in your at-home regimen.
4 – Keep a diet low in processed foods and refined sugars. Harmful bacteria thrive on sugars. The more you can starve them of their lifeline, the more likely you will overcome their impact in your mouth. Some of the best foods to fight oral bacteria are cranberries, garlic, and blackberries due to their antimicrobial and antiviral properties.
As always, we at Holman Family Dentistry are here to help you have the best oral health possible. We will encourage you in your at-home dental routine and help answer any specific questions you have to overcome oral health hurdles. We’d love to help you schedule an appointment with one of our amazing hygienists.
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