The medical dictionary defines oral hygiene as brushing and flossing of teeth, to keep them in good health and free from tooth decay and gum disease.
The importance of oral hygiene
Good oral hygiene is paramount when it comes to fighting plaque, preventing bad breath, tooth decay and gum diseases.
Unremoved Plaque is one of the major causes of gum disease such as Gingivitis.
Plaque is a combination of food particles and bacteria, that result in the generation of an acid that has adverse on your teeth.
When left untreated, it lodges deep into the fissures and crevices of teeth forming an acid that has the following effects on your teeth;
- Eats away the enamel; your teeth’s protective layer causing holes or cavities
- Periodontal disease that leads to tooth loss
Brushing your teeth every day after meals and flossing at least once daily will help prevent your tooth from decay and stop mouth bacteria from multiplying.
Good oral hygiene practices
Brushing your entire mouth and not just your teeth is an integral part of maintaining fresh breath, clean teeth, and overall oral health.
Concentrate on your tongue, teeth, cheeks, and roof of your mouth.
Steps to proper brushing of teeth
- Put a pea-sized amount of the toothpaste of choice on your toothbrush
- Place your toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle, against your gum line, and touching on your teeth as well.
- Start by brushing the inner surface using a back and forth motion, then up and down.
- Repeat the same on the outer surface.
- Next, gently brush the roof, your mouth followed by the tongue and then the cheeks.
- Brush using light strokes as being abrasive might injure your gum.
The minimum number of times that you should brush your teeth daily is twice
Flossing is effective at getting rid of food residue that often sticks in your teeth’s crevices.
Brushing doesn’t do all the work, and using dental floss can help keep tooth decay at bay. Floss at least once a day.
Eat a tooth-friendly diet.
Avoid sugary foods and opt for healthy foods like fruits, nuts, chicken, and vegetables. These foods encourage chewing, and the abrasion is excellent for your teeth.
Visit your dentist regularly.
The dentist will give you a full oral exam to see the status of your dental health.
During the exam, the dentist can identify potential problems such as teeth that are prone to cavities and can also clean plaque.
Bad oral habits
According to WebMD brushing, flossing, seeing your dentist regularly, and consuming a teeth-friendly diet is not enough to keep your oral hygiene in check.
You could be harming your teeth by engaging in the following habits.
- Chewing on ice cubes: The cold temperatures and brittleness of the ice can make your teeth crack.
- Using your teeth to open bottles and other containers: Your teeth’s sole purpose it to chew food. Such actions are hard on your teeth and can make your teeth chip
- Grinding your teeth: Grinding is similar to filing and can wear down your teeth
- Not seeing a reputable dentist: Ensure that you see a certified dentist that is knowledgeable on dental hygiene matters.
- Using the wrong toothbrush: Never use a toothbrush whose bristles are too hard as they may damage your teeth and gums. When purchasing your toothbrush, ensure that it has a tongue cleaner for easier cleaning of your tongue.
How do you fix poor dental hygiene?
Do you feel like you’ve neglected your teeth for years? It’s never too late to fix poor dental hygiene.
Start by properly brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing at least once a day.
Dental hygiene month
What is dental hygiene month?
The dental hygiene month is the month that dental hygienists set aside, to celebrate the work that they do, and to help raise awareness of the importance of dental health.
According to The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the dental awareness month for children is in February.
Colgate, a leading toothpaste brand states that October is the dental hygiene month for adults.
During this month, the focus is on practices that can help keep dental health intact such as;
Adherence to the practices promotes healthy gums, strong teeth, and fresh breath.
In addition, ensure that you see a dentist regularly. Always remembers that a clean mouth can encourage social interactions, which can raise your self-esteem.