Significance of Dental Hygiene for Good Oral Health

Significance of Dental Hygiene for Good Oral Health

Jul 01, 2021

When speaking about oral health, it is easy to underlay the role of proper hygiene. However, good hygiene for your mouth makes the difference when it comes to excellent oral health. It is a path of dental care that has been followed for many years, providing reliable solutions to different dental issues. With a clean mouth, you would be surprised at how much you can conquer regarding oral health.

How did Dental Hygiene Start?

Oral hygiene entails keeping the oral cavity clean. The process involves thorough tooth brushing, flossing, rinsing, and occasional fluoride treatment. This is a practice that has been done so many times by dentists and dental hygienists. One may wonder how the entire process began.

In the 1880s, dental practitioners who offered prophylaxis treatment acting as people to scale and polish teeth were called dental nurses.

However, in 1906, Alfred C. Fones changed this title to ‘dental hygienist’. As dentists continued to train their dental assistants in teeth scaling and polishing, it gave way for formal training for dental hygienists, in 1910, the Ohio College of Dental Surgery. Unfortunately, due to resistance from the dentists in Ohio, the dental nurses were not allowed to practice anywhere, even after their treatment. Eventually, the school closed.

Dr. Alfred C. Fones, however, continued to train other dental hygienists, who were eventually licensed and allowed to practice after their training. Connecticut became the first state to allow dental hygienists to work in dental hygiene treatment, even amending its dental practice act in 1915 to accommodate the function of dental hygienists. Eventually, state dental hygiene associations started forming, by the year 1914, including American Dental Hygienists’ Association. By the 1920s, Dr. John O. Butler was already advertising and marketing his first toothbrush.

What Are the Roles and Benefits of Practicing Good Hygiene for Your Mouth?

As the years go by, higher standards of proper hygiene for the mouth are realized. Dental experts continue to come up with better ways to clean the mouth in-office and at home. Either way, the significance of proper hygiene in dentistry can be identified by considering the following benefits thereof:

  1. Fighting dental decay – the process of dental decay begins with a mere cavity on a tooth. The cavity forms as a result of plaque building up on teeth, which gradually releases harmful acids and bacteria that corrode and damage the layers of teeth. With proper dental hygiene, you get rid of all plaque in your mouth hence removing any risk factor that can lead to dental decay.
  2. Preventing gum disease – also known as Periodontal disease. This features an infection of the gum tissue that causes bleeding, swelling, and even tooth loss. The disease also occurs as a consequence of plaque build-up along the gum line. The bacteria thereof travels to the gum tissue and the tissues beneath, causing damage. With proper hygiene, your gums will not have to suffer this kind of infection.
  3. Fresh smell – the mouth is a conducive environment for bacteria to grow. If you are not intentional about keeping it clean, you will have to battle with issues of bad breath. The food residues over time go bad. In your mouth, they mix with saliva and bacteria thereof, producing a bad odor that people can smell every time you open your mouth.
  4. To keep your teeth white – many of the stains that form on teeth are due to poor hygiene. Plaque turns into tartar that significantly stains your teeth. Besides, some of the foods you consume have pigmentation that remains on the surfaces of teeth if you do not brush them. The result of poor mouth hygiene, therefore, is dental discoloration.
  5. Strong and healthy teeth – cleaning your teeth boosts their ability to absorb necessary nutrients and minerals that help preserve the strength of teeth. Besides, treatments like fluoride treatment already increase the mineral provision for your teeth.


Unless you can get it right with oral hygiene, many dental processes in dentistry will not prove valuable to you. Whether you are cleaning your natural teeth or restorative artificial teeth, there is no oral alternative in dentistry that can substitute proper hygiene for your oral cavity.

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