Regular brushing and cleaning teeth is one prime way to maintain proper oral hygiene. It keeps us away from tooth decay or gum diseases. Some more things which can be efficient as well would include mouthwashes, eating healthy, tongue cleaning, reducing sugar consumption through drinks or food, etc. Stop smoking and consuming tobacco products which are sold in different addictive forms. Having a yearly dental check-up is also recommended.
Importance of oral hygiene
Proper oral hygiene prevents us from dental problems like plaque or tartar. These two are the main causes and results in tooth decay. Having a proper dental hygiene prevents us from dental erosion.
- Dental plaque is a soft and white deposit which is produced on the surface of a tooth. This happens when germs combine with saliva and the food we consume. It consists of numerous types of bacteria. You can get rid of such conditions by maintaining proper oral hygiene.
- Tatar is hard and the calcified form of plaque. It gets stuck to the teeth firmly. It can be usually removed by the dentists with the help of their oral instruments.
Dental problems due to poor oral hygiene
Caries are the holes which form on our tooth. One of the prime reasons for such condition is plaque. The bacteria in plaque have a reaction when starches or sugar in consumed through our food and they form an acid. The acid sticks to the teeth since the plaque is sticky and this makes the tooth enamel dissolve. If you have a decaying tooth, you might need inlays, fillings or crowns.
Gum diseases are caused by inflammation and infection of tissues which are surrounded around our teeth. The most cases where people have this condition, it is results of plaque build-up. Plaque causes numerous types of bacteria, and these are associated with deteriorating gum health and causes diseases. Gum diseases are divided into two types depending on the seriousness:
- Gingivitis: it is when the gums start inflaming. There are numerous types to it and happens mainly due to plaque
- Periodontitis: this is the condition which arises when gingivitis worsen and involves the tissue which joins teeth to the gum.
Gum problems are the maximum reason why elderly people have loss of teeth. This also results in bad breath. Though, these conditions are treatable, and should be promptly addressed.
Tooth erosion is another common oral problem. This happens gradually when the teeth enamels gets eroded with regular action of acids on the teeth. This is separate from bacteria causing tooth decay. It affects the entire surface of our tooth. This can also result in thinning of enamel, and then expose the tender dentine below our enamel. Dentine is a sensitive part of our teeth and it can lead to sensitivity during consumption of cold or hot food or drinks.
How to improve oral hygiene
Oral hygiene is as important as taking care of your skin. Regular brushing, cleaning, and some simple steps are all that you have to follow, it order to maintain better and healthy teeth.
Brushing your teeth should be in regular practice, and it should be done two times a day. Buy a soft brush and toothpaste with fluoride content. The head of the brush should be adequately small to penetrate into areas which are a little difficult to reach. Spend 2 minutes to brush and cover the entire area. Brush on each tooth, both front and back, and try to do them individually or in sets, as your toothbrush allows you to. Concentrate on areas where your teeth are attached to the gum. Replace your toothbrush once in 3-4 months. Buy yourself powered toothbrushes if possible. They have rotation facilities, which clean rapidly and in a way to reduce plaque and debris.
Brush your teeth before you eat and after 1 hour from eating. You could also replace this with mouthwashes, as they are easy to carry. Hence, brushing can be ideally done in the morning and before going to sleep. This would help you reduce the chances of tooth erosion. Numerous foods have acids, like fizzy drinks or juices. When your teeth are contacted with such acid, your teeth soften. But, with the calcium and mineral presence, along with salt from the saliva, you can reduce the softening process. This is why you shouldn’t brush immediately after consuming food. Wait for at least 1 hour and then brush your teeth.
Cleaning between teeth
You should also practice cleaning between your teeth. This should be accompanied with brushing, and should be done once or twice a day. This will help you remove plaque from teeth. You can use a dental floss for this purpose. You also get to buy small inter-dental brushes, which would be more efficient than dental floss. This helps the problem of not reaching internal areas of a tooth. This then results in cleaning the spaces between teeth which are formed of debris.
If you are not well aware of how this is to be done, ask your dentist to give you a brief. Normal floss looks like cotton thread. So you need to:
- cut off around 40 cm
- then wind the tips around both your middle fingers
- grab floss between your thumbs and the index finger.
- This would help you have a section of 3-4 cm.
- You can then pull it between the teeth
- Scrape the floss gently by the sides of every tooth, and then outwards towards the gum.
- You should use a fresh floss every time
Some people even like to purchase floss tapes, as they slide better between the teeth and easier than the normal floss do. Many people also use disposable plastic forks attached with a small length of floss. They surround it between two prongs and clean the teeth. These could be easier to hold on to and manipulate the direction you want it to work! Some people also use sticks, toothpicks, inter-dental brushes for cleaning spaces between two teeth at a time.
The gums might bleed initially, but that would get sorted between a few days. If you have consistent bleeding, check a doctor, as it indicates acute gum problems.
Sugar and foods with sugar content, are the prime reason why we have germs or bacteria on our teeth. They produce acidic formula which results in tooth decay. These are also main reasons why we have tooth erosion.
- Reduce the consumption of food and drinks which contain sugar.
- Try to reduce the acid content in your teeth, by reducing the consumption of fizzy drinks. This would also include fruit juices which tend to be acidic. Have one drink a day, if it is that necessary. Have milk, coffee or tea, but reduce sugar content in it.
- Don’t hold on to acidic foods for a long time. As soon as you’re done, go for a mouthwash or brush you teeth after an hour.
- Do not brush your teeth before 1 hour as that could make you feel like vomiting. They are less effective as well.
- You can use an antiseptic mouthwash to prevent gum diseases. If you cannot use brushing frequently, mouthwashes are the apt remedy for you. Rinsing with mouthwashes helps you have a better effect than rinsing with plain water.
- People like to promote tongue care after tooth care. Promote cleaning your tongue by a tongue scraper. This keeps it healthy and away from bad breath.
- Reduce smoking as they reverse your oral care.
- Use sugar-free medicines, especially for children. Ask your doctor to give such alternatives, wherever possible.
- People like chewing sugar-free gums after meals. This improves the flow of saliva. Saliva helps us flush our mouth and keep it off from acids and debris remaining from meals.
Children should be taught about the importance of oral hygiene. This is to avoid problems when they are older and so that their practice is perfect from the start. Regular doctor checkups are recommended as per your needs and requirements. If you think you have sensitivity, tooth ache, gum problems, you must get a consultation for preventing further damage and a prompt treatment. Tooth treatments are painful and expensive, which is why they should be addresses as soon as possible.
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Originally posted in Beauty & Health Tips