Importance of Dental Hygiene
Maintaining good dental hygiene may not just benefit your teeth and gums. Recent research has shown a link between poor oral health and some serious health conditions, including stroke, heart disease or diabetes.
By following these eight easy tips, you will not only combat issues such as bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay but could improve your overall health.
- Brush with Proper Technique
Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and brush using short strokes all over the tooth’s surface. Make sure to include the front, rear and chewing surfaces of the teeth. Use small, gentle strokes to ensure each tooth is cleaned correctly.
- Brush Twice a Day for Two Minutes
We need to brush our teeth twice daily, to remove decay-causing plaque. Many dentists agree it takes two minutes to clean all your teeth thoroughly. Two minutes can seem like a long time, especially for young children. If you are finding it difficult to reach the recommended time, consider using a timer or purchase an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer.
- Use Right Toothbrush
Make sure you have the right toothbrush for your mouth. The head needs to be the right size to fit around all your teeth comfortably – too big, and you won’t reach all teeth, too small, and you will have to brush for longer to make sure each tooth gets the cleaning it needs. Also look for a toothbrush with soft, round bristles. Hard bristles can irritate the gum line and damage tooth enamel if used too aggressively.
Brushing will not remove all small particles of food or plaque buildup between the teeth. Leftover food debris could lead to bad breath, while a buildup of plaque may lead to decay. Daily flossing will help keep your teeth in their best shape.
Mouthwash is often overlooked in a complete dental hygiene routine. There are different types of mouthwash available, so you can easily find one you like. Avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes as they will dry out your mouth and adversely impact on saliva production.
- Tongue Scraper
A tongue scraper will help to remove particles and odour-causing bacteria from the surface of the tongue. Look for a tongue scraper with no uneven or rough edges; you can even use a spoon! Start scraping from as far back as you can and gradually work your way forward. However, if just starting you may want to begin from the mid-tongue and scrape in one movement to the tip.
- Visit Dentist at Least Once in Six Months
Tartar build-up is removed by having your teeth professionally cleaned every six months for problem-free teeth and fresh breath. Regular dental visits ensure potential problems are caught and treated early saving you both time and money down the line.
- Avoid Habits Harmful to Teeth
There are a number of habits which could be undoing even the best dental hygiene routine.
- Nail biting – not only do you risk transferring germs from under the nail directly into your mouth, but you also risk chipping your teeth.
- Grinding or clenching – often occurs in our sleep and we may only know by the dull ache the following morning. Grinding can wear down the chewing surface of our teeth and in extreme cases cause cracks in the tooth.
- Brushing too hard – using a toothbrush with hard bristles or applying too much pressure when brushing could cause receding gums, worn spots or even damage to the tooth enamel.
- Snacking – particularly on sugary or sticky foods leaves a residue on the teeth which bacteria love. As the bacteria feed and multiplies, it creates acid which slowly erodes the tooth enamel.
- Smoking – tobacco stains the teeth, and cause dry mouth. Healthy saliva production continually rinses food particles from teeth to help fight bacteria and bad breath.
Article contributed by – York House Dentists, a Chesham Dental Practice having 30 years of experience in delivering optimum pain-free dental care with dental emergencies. To know more, visit https://www.yorkhousedentists.co.uk.
Bryan Wood works for York House Dentists in Chesham & Amersham, maintaining and improving smiles for nearly 30 years with a comforting combination of expertise, experience and exceptional standards. When he is off-work Bryan likes to spend his time visiting art galleries and photography.
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