Ongoing good oral hygiene is necessary to keep teeth and gums healthy. It involves habits such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and having routine dental checkups.
Oral health is not merely about teeth; it is about the whole mouth, inside and out. The tongue, lips, cheeks, gums, palate, and other parts of the mouth are all involved in the process of chewing, tasting food, and making speech sounds. When these areas are healthy, they contribute to our overall health.
Teeth affect the health of the organism
When the mouth is unhealthy, it affects the rest of our body because bacteria can enter the bloodstream from the mouth through tiny cracks in the gums or by piercing them with sharp tooth surfaces. Bad breath is caused by odour-causing bacteria that grow in the mouth or nose.
Bacteria cause cavities by producing acids from sugars in the foods we eat. Even without cavities, bacteria cause problems by breaking down teeth enamel and building up plaque on tooth surfaces which irritates gums and causes inflammation. Plaque also makes it easier for cavity-causing bacteria to get started.
Bacteria can be fought with a variety of products, such as kinds of toothpaste that contain fluoride to harden tooth enamel.
Proper brushing of the teeth
Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste is the best way to prevent cavities. At home, use a soft-bristled brush with round-headed bristles designed to reach the teeth at the back of your mouth. Brush for two minutes or more, using small circular motions and covering all surfaces of each tooth. Floss daily, and brush your tongue to help fight bad breath. It’s equally important to visit the dentist every six months for professional cleaning, x-rays and an oral exam.
It is especially important to teach children to take care of their teeth and get rid of the fear of dentists. When they acquire a habit in childhood, it will be considerably easier for them to upgrade healthy habits later. As for adults, children need to visit kids’ dentist regularly.
The head of the toothbrush should be soft to medium-firmness, and make sure it has small or angled bristles for better reach in between teeth. Also, the brush should be small enough to fit comfortably in your mouth but not so large that it hurts your cheeks or gums.
There are different toothbrush bristle materials available on the market today. Select one that is right for you. If you prefer softer bristles, go with nylon; if you like firmer ones, choose firm plastic or rubber, and if you’re looking for something in between, opt for semi-synthetic brushes with nylon and natural fibres. Two-tufted brushes can clean surfaces effectively while three-tufted models can provide deeper cleaning by lifting out plaque from deep between teeth and around braces.
Using dental floss together with mouthwash
Though flossing is necessary for good oral health, many people find it difficult to remember to floss daily. That’s why a great tip for healthy teeth and gums is to invest in a floss holder that attaches to your finger. It will feel odd the first time you use it, but once you get used to it, you may never want to go back to traditional floss again.
Floss holders are inexpensive and easy to use, and they can make flossing as simple as washing your hands. They come in a variety of styles from various manufacturers, so it’s easy to select one that best suits your needs.
In addition, it’s important for everyone — particularly those with braces — to brush their teeth twice a day and use mouthwash after every meal and snack. By rinsing out your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash, you can eliminate germs and prevent bad breath — which is especially important if your mouth contains food debris from between the teeth.
Sugars are a primary food source for cavity-causing bacteria. When these bacteria interact with sugars, they produce sticky substances called “dextrans.” These dextrans adhere to the teeth and gums, building up over time to create dental plaque. Over time, dental plaque can harden into even more difficult tartar to remove.
Sugar also encourages the growth of oral bacteria that produce acids that weaken tooth enamel. These acids can also lower the pH level in your mouth, making it easier for the dextrans created by cavity-causing bacteria to dissolve tooth enamel.
Another major culprit is starch. Foods like white bread, crackers and chips are high in refined carbohydrates, which break down quickly into sugar after you eat them. As with sugar, this causes an increase in cavities and gum disease.
In addition to health concerns, smoking can cause serious damage to your smile. The chemicals in cigarettes can cause teeth to discolour and become darker, as well as lead to tooth decay and damage to the gums and bone loss, which may lead to tooth loss.
The most important dental health tip is to quit smoking. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. If you’re a smoker, then you most likely already know that smoking harms your oral health. Smoking leads to an increase in plaque-forming bacteria – known as Streptococcus Mutans – which leads to an increase in dental caries (cavities). It also leads to a reduction in necessary saliva flow for good oral hygiene and remineralization of the teeth. By reducing saliva flow, tobacco products also increase the risk of gum disease.
With these tips, you will maintain a bright smile!
About the Guest Author
Alison Pearson is an interior design student. She is a writer and designer, and her ultimate passion is art and architecture. She is also a bibliophile and her favourite book is “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner. Follow her on Twitter.