Dental hygiene is defined as habits and effective practices which are conducive for maintaining as well as improving the health of your teeth and gums. Oral hygiene is crucial as it affects the overall dental health, and also impacts, albeit not directly, an individual’s self esteem, school or work performance, attendance at work or school. The oral diseases caused by poor dental hygiene range from cavities in the teeth to gum diseases such as gingivitis to even oral cancers.
There are many dental hygiene practices which effectively keep your oral health in check. Some of these practices are followed by many while others are often ignored, or practiced irregularly. It is important to add these essential oral healthcare habits into your everyday life to achieve good dental health.
Brush Twice & Brush Properly
Brushing at least twice a day is a basic dental care practice recommended by experts. While many brush their teeth to remove food particles from their teeth after each meal, others neglect brushing at night. Brushing before bed is important to get rid of the germs and plaque which accumulate in your mouth throughout the day. Brushing correctly is also required to ensure good oral hygiene. You can brush multiple times in a day but if you’re not doing it correctly, the purpose is not served. Brushing your teeth hastily and poorly is almost as bad as not brushing at all. Take particular care to move your toothbrush gently, in circular motions to remove the plaque. If the plaque is left unremoved, it can harden over time, leading to calculus buildup and gingivitis, and other gum diseases.
Clean Your Tongue
Do not ignore your tongue while cleaning your teeth. It is also possible for plaque to accumulate on your tongue. This can have twofold effects: create a condition called halitosis or bad breath and also lead to other oral health problems. To clean your tongue thoroughly, you can either use a tongue cleaner or use your toothbrush, and gently brush your tongue with its bristles each time you brush your teeth.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste
It is important to look at the constituent ingredients of your toothpaste while choosing one. Always go for a fluoride toothpaste because it is a leading defense against tooth decay. Fluoride can kill germs which cause cavities, and can act as a protective barrier for your teeth. It is even recommended to drink fluoridated water.
Flossing Should Not Be Neglected
It is very significant to treat flossing too as an essential dental care practice. Flossing is often undermined as less important but it is crucial in removing the tiny pieces of food stuck between your teeth which may later become plaque. In addition, flossing once a day stimulates the gums, reduces plaque, and helps lower inflammation in the area. It can be a difficult task, particularly for young children and older adults with arthritis. Find easier alternative tools which help make flossing easier such as the ready-to-use flossers.
Using a mouthwash is an advisable practice. It has several benefits including reducing the amount of acid in your mouth, cleaning hard to brush regions in the mouth, in and around the gums, and remineralizing the teeth. Mouthwash is particularly beneficial for older adults and young children who cannot floss, and is a good substitute. Seen good mouthwash recommendations from your dentist.
Regular Dental Check-ups
While the above mentioned practices and habits can reduce the number of visits to the dentist by keeping your teeth healthy, it is important to see a dentist regularly. Dental check-ups and cleanings must be done at least twice a year. Your dentist can remove calculus, and even deter cavities which are in early stages. They can also identify potential issues which warrant treatment and offer solutions.
These dental hygiene practices are basic, mandatory requirements. But above and beyond, it is crucial to maintain your overall health and well being by drinking an adequate amount of water, and eating crunchy fruits and vegetables which contain more fiber, and are good for your teeth. Limiting alcoholic drinks, sugar, and quitting tobacco are all important steps to achieving good oral health.
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