Good oral health – brush up on the basics

April 27, 2021

A clean and shining set of teeth can add charm to a beautiful smile. Being one of the most important parts of our body teeth needs to be taken care of regularly. To be precise, food enters our body through the mouth. As teeth grinds the food we chew, it is most susceptible to the build-up of plaque and cavity if proper attention is not given to the oral hygiene.

This is a story of Shalini who always had a beautiful smile. People in her office wanted to talk to her due to her contagious smile which his helped her to make a lot of friends and expand her social network. Shalini was the center of attraction in her family functions due to her clean teeth and fresh smelling mouth. It was not easy for Shalini to have that good set of teeth. She was aware of the oral problems she might face if she does not take care of them. Hence, Shalini followed a strict regime like brushing twice a day, flossing etc which helped in maintaining her oral hygiene.

Similar to Shalini, maintaining good oral health is vital to maintaining good overall health for everyone. The goal of proper oral hygiene is to prevent formation and production of plaque and tartar. If this oral health is not looked after properly, a lot of people face different issues related to it. From toothache to foul smell of the mouth, discomfort, bleeding gums, one can experience many problems if they ignore to take proper care of their teeth. Changing habits, adopting simple techniques like using the right kind of brush can also make a lot of difference in maintaining good oral health.

Know the right toothbrush:

  • Select soft bristle toothbrush always. It should not hurt your gums while brushing
  • Toothbrushes should be changed 3 to 4 times a year
  • Buy the right size toothbrush for the kids
  • Kids and people with braces may need to use special toothbrushes. Discuss with your dentist.
  • People with arthritis may find it difficult to hold the toothbrush. Select the ones which are easier for them to hold.

This World oral health day, let’s take a pledge to make modifications to our habits that can help in keeping the teeth healthier and stronger.

Make sure you brush your teeth regularly but not aggressively

Brushing our teeth twice daily is a habit that was imbibed since childhood. Brushing your teeth for 2-3 minutes covering all the parts can put away oral issues like cavities, bad breath and other issues. However, using hard-bristled toothbrush can cause damage to the enamel as well as the gums.

Protect your teeth from injury

Wear a full-face helmet or mouthguard when playing sports, or riding a bike to avoid any kind of injury to the teeth.

Use toothpaste that contains fluoride

Fluoride comes from an element in the earth’s soil known as fluorine. Experts believe that fluoride prevent cavities, and it is a common ingredient in toothpaste as well as mouthwash.

Using fluoride based toothpastes promotes enamel health by hardening it making your teeth more durable and decay free

Avoid using your teeth for anything other than chewing food

It is important to use teeth only to chew food. Using your teeth to crack nuts, remove bottle tops or rip open packaging, you risk chipping or even breaking your teeth in that process.

Be gentle while flossing your teeth

Flossing is an important part of cleansing you mouth. But it is important to guide the floss between your teeth using a rubbing motion. Do not snap the floss into your gums. When the floss reaches your gum line, make sure to curve it against one tooth, making a ‘C’ shape.

Keep your equipment clean

Make sure to rinse your toothbrush with water after you brush your teeth. Store your toothbrush in an upright position and allow it to air-dry until you use it the next time. Try to keep it away from other toothbrushes in the same holder to avoid cross-contamination.

Wash your mouth thoroughly

Make sure to rinse your mouth after eating food. The process will help in fighting against plaque formation in the mouth.

Make sure to use a mouth wash

Using a good mouth wash can help fight a lot of bacteria present in our mouth and cleanse it thoroughly. It can also control acids that can damage tooth’s enamel.

See your dentist for regular check-ups

Make an effort to visit the dentist atleast once in six months. Not only will they be able to remove tartar from your teeth, but they will also be able to check for symptoms of cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems.

Avoid consuming or smoking too much of caffeine

People who smoke or consume caffeine are much more likely to develop tartar on their teeth, which contributes to gum disease. It also weakens the immune system and makes it harder for the body to fight off the infection.

Moreover, smoking also increases your risk of oral cancer. Make sure you remember these dental health essentials and you will be able to maintain healthy gums and teeth without any problem. If anything, keep in mind that it is never too late to improve your oral health!

- By Dr. Arun Murali, Consultant - Dentistry and Dental Surgery, Columbia Asia Hospital Sarjapur Road

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