Who doesn’t love a sparkling smile and a set of healthy teeth?
But with unhealthy eating habits and a lazy attitude towards dental hygiene this is a dream for many. There are billions of bacteria living inside our mouths at any given time. Many of these bacteria build up as plaque, causing tooth decay (cavities) and gingivitis, which can lead to periodontal (gum) disease. For a healthy smile, you must practice good oral hygiene every day.
What is Good Oral Hygiene?
A good oral hygiene means you can chew well and can avoid toothaches and discomfort. Good oral hygiene results in a mouth that looks and smells healthy. This means:
- Your teeth are clean and free of debris
- Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
- Bad breath is not a constant problem
If your gums do hurt or bleed while brushing or flossing, or you are experiencing persistent bad breath, see your dentist. Any of these conditions may indicate a problem.
Your dentist can help you learn good oral hygiene techniques and can help point out areas of your mouth that may require extra attention during brushing and flossing
Lack of good oral hygiene cause problems like:
- Bad breath
- Tooth decay
- Gum diseases
- Tooth erosion
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth aches
- Unattractive smile
How is Good Oral Hygiene Practiced?
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being.
Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop and is much less painful, expensive, and worrisome than treating conditions that have been allowed to progress.
In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems.
Here are some simple ways to maintain a good oral hygiene:
- Start children early – One in four young children develops signs of tooth decay before they start school. Half of all children between the ages of 12 and 15 have cavities. Dental care should begin as soon as a child’s first tooth appears, usually around six months.
- Use fluoride toothpaste – Fluoride helps strengthen enamel, making it less likely to decay. Many toothpastes and mouth rinses contain fluoride.
- Brush twice a day and floss daily – Gum disease and tooth decay remain big problems for all age groups. Here are a few things to take care:
- Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily.
- Toothbrushes should be changed 3 to 4 times a year.
- Teenagers and adults with braces need special toothbrushes and other oral hygiene tools, consult your orthodontist.
- Rinse after meals – In addition to brushing and flossing, rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial rinse can help prevent decay and gum problems.
- Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco – Tobacco stains teeth and significantly increases the risk of gum disease and oral cancer. If you smoke or use chewing tobacco, quit it.
- Eat smart – At every age, a healthy diet is essential to healthy teeth and gums. A well-balanced diet of whole foods — including grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products — will provide all the nutrients you need.
Proper Brushing Technique
Tilt the brush at a 45° angle against the gum line and sweep or roll the brush away from the gum line.
Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes.
Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.
|Proper Flossing Technique|
|Use about 18″ of floss, leaving an inch or two to work with.||Gently follow the curves of your teeth using sawing motion.||Be sure to clean beneath the gum line, but avoid snapping the floss on the gum|