Got questions about tooth whitening? Want to find out if you’re doing the best you can do to look after your teeth and gums? Your questions are all answered in this four-part FAQ guide to oral health and hygiene.

Every day, more and more research is published demonstrating the clear link between oral health and whole body health. You may think that neglecting your teeth doesn’t have extensive ramifications other than a bit of bad breath, but it does! For instance, gum disease – a direct result of this kind of negligent behavior – is closely linked with conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, autoimmune disorders, stroke and even cancer! Makes you really think twice about ignoring your dentist’s six-monthly appointment requests, doesn’t it?

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The bad bacteria in your mouth – the ones that cause gum disease – have direct access to the vital organs in your body via swallowing and respiration. This is why it’s so important that we all care for our teeth properly. Yet, according to the U.S. Surgeon General, as many as 85% of Americans present with some form or stage of gum disease! It’s time we all understood and appreciated just how important good oral hygiene is to our quality of life, self-esteem and overall health.

In this four-part article series, specialists in dental implant in Chicago will be answering all of our questions about oral health, hygiene and what it takes to keep our teeth and ourselves in fantastic lifelong condition.

FAQ: Is it really so terrible that I only brush once a day?

Answer: “Your teeth, tongue, cheeks, gums and every other surface in your mouth are populated with legions of bacteria. Most of them are not harmful to your health at all, but many are linked with inflammation and disease,” explain Chicago dentists. “Brushing and flossing are the most important ways you can minimize the numbers of bacteria in your mouth, while preventing a build-up of their wastes, which can lead to gum inflammation, cavities, tooth decay and bad breath. Brushing only once a day simply isn’t good enough, the same way taking a shower once a week won’t prevent you from getting dirty and smelling like a dumpster.”

FAQ: What additional activities could I be doing to really look after my teeth?

Answer: To be an “oral achiever” all you need to do is brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss everyday, preferably before you go to bed at night. But, if you really want a gold star from your dentist, use an anti-bacterial mouth rinse that has been approved by the American Dental Association. Use it between meals and after snacks to help keep bacteria and plaque production to a minimum. You could also use a tongue scraper and go to your oral hygienist for regular professional cleanings.

FAQ: Is there a correct way to brush your teeth?

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Answer: “Absolutely! Hold your toothbrush at 45 degrees to the gum line and gently brush back-and-forth and up-and-down,” say the specialists of Same Day dental implants in Chicago. Brush every single tooth as well as right at the back of the tooth row, behind your second or third molars. Make sure you spend at least two minutes at a time and don’t forget to brush your tongue, palate and inner cheeks!

Stay Tuned for Part 2

To read the answers to more Frequently Asked Questions about oral health, hygiene and cosmetics, stay tuned for the second installment of this four-part article series.