Oral hygiene is the process of maintaining proper care for the teeth and mouth as a whole. Millions of bacteria are present in the mouth, hence the need for proper maintenance of the mouth. Without proper care and attention, it leads to;
- Tooth decay: This is caused when bacteria feed on the sugars in the foods and drinks we consume leaving behind the waste, as dental plaque. This plaque allows all those little recyclers to stick around your teeth longer until eventually, they make acids, which wear down the tooth enamel and cause cavities.
- Mouth odor: This is an offensive foul smell produced in the mouth due to the accumulation of food residues.
To avoid this, one needs to brush the teeth at least twice daily and cleaning between your teeth every day. Brushing removes plaque and residues from the tooth surfaces.
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Here are the basic oral tips that everyone must follow:
- Use Proper Brushing Technique: A quick wash of your bristles isn’t enough to banish leftover food particles and polish your teeth. Instead, use a technique echoed by the American Dental Association (ADA): Start with your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use short back and forth strokes across the sides and tops of your teeth. Then, hold the brush vertically and use several shorter strokes to focus on the backs of your teeth of the front anterior teeth where plaque builds up often.
- Brush Enough: Many people brush regularly, but simply don’t brush enough for their teeth to stay clean. The ADA recommends brushing for at least two minutes, twice daily. Having trouble gauging your routine for this duration? Try listening to the short song, cue up a two-minute YouTube video or set a timer on your phone to give yourself the time you need to thoroughly clean your teeth.
- Pick the Right Brush: Always look for a brush whose head and bristles are small enough to reach into the crevices of your molars, where food debris can hide after you eat. According to the International Dental Health Association, most adults require a small- or medium-sized toothbrush for this purpose.
- Floss Properly: Like brushing, flossing must be done properly so that, when you reach between teeth, you get to the germs that are stuck there. Ideally, use a piece of floss up to 18 inches in length, allowing you to use a fresh area of floss every few teeth without reinserting bacteria you just removed. Keep in mind the floss should rub against the teeth in a motion that creates a forward or backward ‘C’ shape, wrapping the floss around each tooth.
- Clean your Brush: You don’t need special equipment or covers to keep the brush itself clean. The ADA warns that covering your toothbrush can breed new bacteria and introduce it into your mouth. Instead, just rinse your brush after each use and allow it to air dry. You should also avoid sharing brushes with others, even your kids. Also, ensure that you change your toothbrush at least once in 3 months.
Guess these few tips have broadened your understanding and knowledge of oral health. Consult professionals for diagnosis and treatments.