The Importance of Oral Hygiene

A Comprehensive Guide to Maintaining Healthy Teeth and Gums

Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping your teeth and gums healthy and clean to prevent oral health issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath which can lead to serious periodontal disease, tooth loss, and even cardiovascular diseases. Good oral hygiene is essential for overall health and well-being, as poor oral health can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to maintain healthy teeth and gums and prevent dental problems and maintain great oral health.


Brushing and Flossing

The most important aspect of good oral hygiene practices and health is brushing and flossing. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is the foundation for a good oral hygiene routine and helps remove plaque and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth. Make sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the front, back, and chewing surfaces, as well as your tongue. Use a soft-bristled brush and replace it every three to four months.

Flossing at least once a day helps maintain good oral hygiene by removing plaque and bacteria from between your teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach. Use a piece of floss about 18 inches long, and wind most of it around one finger of each hand, leaving a few inches in between. Gently slide the floss between your teeth and move it up and down along the sides of each tooth. Flossing is important in preventing tooth decay.



Mouthwash can be used as an additional step to help prevent cavities and gum disease. It can also help freshen your breath. Look for a mouthwash that contains fluoride and has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing, but it can be a helpful addition to your oral hygiene routine.


Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is not only good for your overall health but also for your oral health. A diet that is high in sugar and carbohydrates can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Try to limit your intake of sugary and starchy foods and drinks such as soda, candy, and pastries. Instead, eat a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains.


Regular Dental Visits

Regular dental visits are important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Dentists recommend that you have a dental checkup every six months. During the checkup, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums for any signs of dental problems such as cavities, periodontal disease, and provide an oral cancer screening. They will also clean your teeth to remove any plaque or tartar buildup.


Dental X-rays

Dental X-rays are an important tool that dentists use to detect various dental conditions and problems that may not be visible to the naked eye. X-rays can detect cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues before they become more serious. The frequency of dental X-rays depends on your dental health history and your dentist’s recommendation.


Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay by making the teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque and sugar. Your dentist may recommend fluoride treatments if you are at high risk for tooth decay. Fluoride treatments can be applied in various forms, such as gels, rinses, or varnishes.



Sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) to help prevent cavities. The chewing surfaces of the molars have deep grooves and pits that can be difficult to clean, making them more susceptible to tooth decay. Sealants help protect these areas from bacteria and plaque buildup.


Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer is a serious disease that can be life-threatening if not detected early. Your dentist may perform a screening during your regular dental checkup. They will examine your mouth and throat for any signs, such as lumps, bumps, or red or white patches. If your dentist finds anything suspicious, they may recommend a biopsy to test for cancer. DeFabio Dental Design offers VELscope Oral Cancer screenings at our Colts Neck, NJ office.


Gum Disease

Gum disease is a common problem that occurs when plaque and bacteria build up on the gums and teeth due to poor dental health. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems such as heart disease and respiratory diseases. Signs of gum disease include red, swollen, or bleeding gums, bad breath, and receding gums. To prevent gum disease, make sure to brush and floss regularly, eat a healthy diet, and get regular dental checkups.


Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that can help improve the appearance of your smile. There are several different teeth whitening options available, including in-office treatments and at-home kits. However, it’s important to note that teeth whitening should only be done under the supervision of a dentist to ensure safety and effectiveness. At DeFabio Dental Design we use KoR Whitening as our preferred teeth-whitening solution. It is safe and effective at improving the appearance of your smile.



Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for overall health and well-being and proper oral hygiene is crucial for maintaining good oral health but also your overall health. By brushing and flossing regularly, eating a healthy diet, and visiting your dentist regularly, you can prevent dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Additionally, your dentist can provide treatments such as fluoride and sealants to further protect your teeth and gums. By following these guidelines, you can maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come.

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top NJ cosmetic dentist Dr. Edward DeFabio

Dr. Edward DeFabio, DDS

Dr. Edward DeFabio of DeFabio Dental Design is a “Jersey Boy.” He grew up in Short Hills, attended Newark Academy, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Middlebury College and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Georgetown University School of Dentistry.

After finishing school, Dr. DeFabio opened the doors to his dental office in Colts Neck and has maintained this practice location ever since. His professional interests are esthetics, adhesion dentistry, minimally invasive microscopic dentistry, advanced restorative dentistry, removable prosthodontics, and endodontics.

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Dr. Edward DeFabio, DDS

Dr. Edward DeFabio has been the leading general and cosmetic dentist in Colts Neck, NJ 07722 for over 30 years. He has trained with the pioneers of cosmetic dentistry and was the first NJ cosmetic dentist accredited in NJ by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists.