Protect your Health by Keeping your Mouth Clean

Categories: Oral Health


It’s said that a person’s oral health is a window into his or her overall physical health. There’s a reason for that. Our mouths — the entry point for our digestive and respiratory systems — harbor a lot of mostly unharmful bacteria. But without proper oral care, the bacteria increase. This leads to a higher risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease, and scientists have linked severe gum disease, or periodontitis, to chronic health problems like heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Taking care of your smile, therefore, is also taking care of your body and physical health.

How do you take care of your smile in between dental visits? Our family dentist near Scotts Valley has compiled the following list of helpful tips:

Brush and floss

These seem like a given, but many people take for granted these cornerstones of strong oral health. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is the best line of defense against tooth decay and gum disease. Our Santa Cruz family dentist recommends brushing once in the morning after breakfast and once before bed at night, for at least two minutes each time. Floss once daily, preferably when you brush your teeth at night. Flossing can reach areas in the mouth that are difficult (if possible) for a toothbrush to reach.

Use a good toothbrush

Our Santa Cruz family dentist will often recommend brushing with an electric toothbrush because they’re clinically shown to remove more plaque and keep gums healthier than a classic toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes, however, are more expensive than classic toothbrushes. So if you’re in the market for a classic toothbrush, what should you look for? Our dentists recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush because stiffer bristles, especially in the hands of an overzealous brusher, can actually cause scratches and damage to your tooth enamel and gums.

Enjoy crispy fruits and vegetables

Yes, fruits and vegetables, as one of the main food groups, are healthy for your body. But did you know they’re also healthy for your teeth? Crispy, crunchy, raw vegetables like celery, cucumbers and carrots, or fruits like apples and pears, help exfoliate tooth surfaces and remove plaque. Chewing crunchy foods also increases saliva production, which reduces bacteria in the mouth.

Chew sugar-free gum

Like eating raw fruits and vegetables, chewing sugar-free gum helps increase saliva production, which reduces oral bacteria.

Visit the dentist

Be sure to visit our Los Gatos family dentist every six months for a routine checkup and cleaning. Even if you follow your oral hygiene regimen religiously, plaque can grow under the gum line. Professional cleanings reach places your toothbrush and floss can’t. A dentist will also examine your mouth for any hairline fractures in the teeth or the beginnings of anything that may look suspicious.


A healthy mouth helps translate into a healthy body. Be sure to protect your physical health by taking good care of your oral health. If it’s time for a checkup, or if you’re looking for a new family dentist in the Los Gatos, Scotts Valley or Santa Cruz areas, give Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry a call at (831) 824-5111, or contact us online today.