The Meaning of Good Dental Hygiene

You know brushing and flossing is important to your dental health, but do you know exactly why? Good dental hygiene helps prevent issues from developing that could cause irreversible damage to your dental health. For instance, tooth decay (the cause of cavities) and gum disease (the leading reason behind tooth loss) both stem from the buildup of dental plaque. When you don’t control it properly, the accumulation of plaque allows oral bacteria to multiply and infect your teeth and gums. The meaning of good dental hygiene lies in maintaining control of your mouth’s environment, and usually it requires a little more than just brushing and flossing your teeth every day.

Maintaining Control

Experts equate the collection of bacterial colonies in a healthy human mouth to a small, but fully stocked, ecological forest. They’ve identified over 600 kinds of bacteria, and have noted several hundreds more that are yet to be classified. More importantly, some of these bacteria types produce substances (through metabolization) that break down your dental health defenses (like tooth enamel and gum tissues). You can’t completely eliminate bacteria, since they’re inherent to your mouth’s ecology, but you can control the numbers and ratios of good and harmful bacteria to reduce your risk of dental diseases. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth carefully at least twice every day, as well as;

  • Limit snacking; the more you eat, the stronger oral bacteria become
  • Drink water; it rinses away bacteria and food debris, especially when you can’t brush after a meal
  • Chew sugar-less gum; mastication (chewing) promotes saliva production, which is made almost entirely of water and helps periodically rinse your mouth
  • Visit your dentist regularly; if your hygiene routine is lacking, we can suggest improvements, as well as provide additional protection, if necessary

The Role of Your Professional Hygienist

When even a small piece of plaque is left on your teeth for more than a day or two, it calcifies into tartar, making it more formidable than your toothbrush and floss. During a routine dental checkup and cleaning, which you should attend at least once every six months (sometimes more often), our skilled hygienists will professionally remove plaque and tartar from every surface of your teeth and along the gum line, preventing the film from threatening your teeth and gums. They can also make suggestions to improve your hygiene practices at home between your checkup and cleaning appointments.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.