When it comes to oral hygiene the old maxim that prevention is better than cure is never more prevalent. Maintaining a good standard of oral hygiene is completely pain-free and takes as little as a combined 10 minutes a day. When you compare this to just some of the alternatives of ignoring hygiene it becomes quite clear that this small sacrifice is worth making.Take for example a root canal procedure. During this surgery the dentist has to drill down (using the famed and feared dentist drill) into the heart of an infected tooth where, to bring an end to the severe pain the patient is almost inevitably suffering, he will need to remove all the infected material and possibly even the extremely sensitive nerve endings themselves. When all the infected matter has been removed the dentist will fill the cavity with medicine and filling material before capping the tooth with a porcelain crown. This procedure could involve several hours in the dentist’s chair and more importantly could put an enormous hole in your wallet. Extensive dental surgery of this kind does not come cheap, and there is no alternative that will bring an end to the pain of an infected tooth. You may think it a little extreme to say that by not properly brushing and flossing your teeth you will end up with painful toothache and infections, but dental decay does no favours for anyone. Inadequate brushing and flossing allows a bacteria rich substance called plaque to build up around the surface of the teeth and gums. This plaque release acids from decaying bacteria which gradually erode tooth enamel. This cavity forming process, if allowed to continue, penetrates to the heart of the tooth and when that happens an infection forms and you become intimate with the dentist’s drill. Infected teeth are just one of the unpleasant consequences of poor dental hygiene. Some teeth are beyond saving by root canal and will either need to be removed or fall out naturally. This begins to happen regularly and you’re looking at a lifetime of denture wearing. Both forms of gum disease, gingivitis and the more serious periodontitis can cause irritation and even bleeding. More worryingly the infection can spread to the bloodstream and can cause heart problems. Dentists advise that teeth brushing should be performed twice a day for a minimum of three minutes and that you should floss at least once a day. A Swindon dentist will be able to give you a more thorough instruction in good oral hygiene at your next appointment.