Care For Your Teeth
Care of the mouth is one of the most basic aspects of personal care. However, it tends to be neglected by most people. Oral hygiene has significant impact on an individual’s general well-being, self-esteem as well as quality of life. The oral cavity is known to be a reservoir for microorganism to grow and thrive. Poor oral hygiene can lead to complications such as gum disease, bad breath, dry mouth, plaque formation and tooth decay.
Here are some tips for dental care:
The brushing basics: Tooth brushing is an effective means of reducing plaque and gingivitis. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably soon after awakening in the morning and before going to bed. Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled, small-ended toothbrush. It is important to practice good tooth brushing technique as brushing incorrectly may reduce its effectiveness. Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle against your teeth and brush with short back-and-forth motions, without exerting too much pressure. Clean the teeth, 3 at a time. Remember to brush the inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue.
Floss your teeth daily: Flossing removes the food particles and plaque trapped between the teeth which a tooth brush cannot reach. It also prevents the formation of tartar, which is the hard yellowish deposits above or below the gums, on the inner or outer surface of teeth and can only be removed by your dentist.
Use a mouthwash after brushing / eating: Mouthwashes with antiseptic properties kill the bacterial plaque known to cause bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.
Healthy eating: Maintain a balanced diet. Reduce the consumption of foods containing sugars or starch which are responsible for causing tooth decay. Avoid snacking between meals as this makes the teeth prone to tooth decay. The bacterial action is greatest at acidic environment. The acidity of the mouth is the highest immediately after meals and gradually reduces to a normal level thereafter. Eating in between meals does not allow the acidic level to come down, thus increasing bacterial action and leads to caries. Avoid carbonated and energy drinks as they contain acids such as phosphoric acid and citric acid, which have damaging effect on teeth. Energy drinks also contain organic acids which directly damage the tooth calcium. If you must drink, don’t sip on them for a long time and do rinse your mouth after drinking.
Don’t smoke: Smoking not only stains your teeth but also damages your gums by reducing the blood supply. It also causes smokers breath.
Regular visits to your dentist: Schedule regular dental cleanings and checkups – generally at least once or twice a year is essential to diagnose any oral concerns early. Most oral health problems do not produce any symptoms till they have progressed to a later stage.
The most important part of tooth care happens at home. If you are like most people who do not look forward to facing a dentist's drill, it would be best to prevent cavities before they begin.