The Importance of Oral Hygiene

Keeping good oral hygiene isn’t just important for healthy teeth, it’s important for your entire body. A number of diseases can occur from the build-up of dental plaque in your mouth, including gum disease and even heart disease.1

Read on to find out how to follow a healthy oral hygiene regimen, prevent gum disease, and keep your smile sparkling with Sensodyne.

What Is Good Oral Health?

Having a healthy mouth means you can chew your food, smile, and speak easily. Clean and healthy teeth also help to maintain the shape of your face and can have a positive impact on your confidence.2

The basics of keeping good oral hygiene are brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, with a fluoride toothpaste3 – like any Sensodyne toothpaste. It’s also advised that you use interdental brushes or floss between your teeth once per day4

However, there are other things you can do to keep your teeth and mouth healthy besides these basics. Below, we’ll discuss good oral hygiene routines for both adults and children, helping you keep your whole family’s mouths happy and healthy.

What Is a Good Oral Hygiene Routine?

Oral Hygiene for Adults

  • Brush your teeth twice per day for two minutes5 with fluoride toothpaste, like Sensodyne Multi Care.
  • Floss with dental floss or interdental brushes every day.5
  • Go to the dentist at least once per year.5
  • Don’t delay getting necessary dental treatment7, which can lead to oral health problems getting worse.
  • Don’t smoke.5
  • Avoid alcohol.5
  • Eat well and limit your sugar intake.6
  • Don’t rinse your mouth after brushing – this will wash away the fluoride.8

Oral Hygiene for Kids

  • Brush children’s teeth twice per day with family-friendly fluoride toothpaste. Start doing this as soon as their first tooth comes through.9
  • Once kids are old enough to brush their own teeth, always supervise9 to make sure they’re doing a good job and brushing for two minutes.
  • Ensure they don’t swallow the toothpaste and don’t rinse away the fluoride straight after.10
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head.11
  • Avoid fizzy drinks, juices, and sugary foods.12
  • Take your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears, and regularly after that.13

What Happens If You Don’t Have Good Oral Hygiene?

Poor oral hygiene can lead to unpleasant health issues, ranging from mild gum disease to cardiovascular conditions1. Learn about how failing to take care of your mouth and teeth can lead to, or worsen, the following health problems:.


Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that causes irritation and soreness your gums. While fairly common and easily treated, if it’s not taken seriously, gingivitis can lead to a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis.14 Symptoms of gingivitis include gum redness, tenderness, swelling, bleeding, and recession, and you may suffer from bad breath.15

Treating gingivitis can be as simple as adopting a more rigorous oral hygiene routine, including daily flossing, but you must visit your dentist to determine the best course of treatment for you if your gums are red, swollen, or bleeding.16


Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis is not treated and progresses further into the gums and the roots of the teeth. It can cause permanent harm to the gum tissue and supporting jawbone. Once severe periodontitis sets in, teeth can become loose and eventually fall out.17

Symptoms of periodontitis include the presence of tartar on the teeth (hardened plaque), frequent bleeding from the gums, bad breath, teeth changing position, receding gums, and painful gums.18

Thankfully, periodontitis can be treated and stopped in its tracks with proper intervention from your dentist19, with professional cleaning, antibiotics, surgery, and aftercare20. To ensure your periodontitis is managed and doesn’t worsen, you will need to revisit your dentist frequently and carefully follow their advice21.

Heart Disease

People who have gum disease are 2-3 times more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or another other cardiovascular-related problem than those without gum disease.22

While the link hasn’t yet been proven22, doctors and dentists believe the association between the two is compelling enough to urge people to take signs of gum disease more seriously and work with their dentist to prevent gum disease.23

Lung Conditions

Lung conditions, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, can be made worse by gum disease and poor oral health. This is because gum disease is caused by the build-up of plaque bacteria in the mouth. Some of the bacteria in the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs, meaning that lungs with pre-existing conditions can be too weak to fight off inflammation and infection.24

Those with pre-existing lung conditions should follow a thorough oral hygiene regimen to reduce the risk of plaque bacteria entering their lungs.25


  1. NHS Inform. Gum disease – Complications of gum disease. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  2. Oral Health Foundation. The importance of a healthy smile. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  3. NHS. How to keep your teeth clean. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  4. NHS. Why should I use dental floss?. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Oral Health Tips - What Can Adults Do to Maintain Good Oral Health?. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  6. NHS. Take care of your teeth and gums. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  7. NHS. Take care of your teeth and gums. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  8. California Oral Health Technical Assistance Center. Don't rinse after brushing and other tips for better dental health. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  9. NHS. Children's teeth. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  10. NHS. Children's teeth. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  11. Better Health. Toothbrushing – children. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  12. NHS. Looking after your baby's teeth. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  13. NHS. Children’s teeth. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  14. Mayo Clinic. Gingivitis. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  15. Mayo Clinic. Gingivitis. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  16. NHS. Treatment - Gum disease. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  17. EFP. What is periodontitis?. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  18. EFP. What is periodontitis?. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  19. EFP. What is periodontitis?. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  20. EFP. What is periodontitis?. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  21. EFP. What is periodontitis?. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  22. Harvard Health Publishing. Gum disease and heart disease: The common thread. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  23. Harvard Health Publishing. Gum disease and heart disease: The common thread. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  24. American Thoracic Society. Dental Health and Lung Disease. Accessed 12/10/2021.
  25. American Thoracic Society. Dental Health and Lung Disease. Accessed 12/10/2021.

PM Number: PM-ZA-SENO-21-00165