Your oral health highly affects your overall health and there have been studies to prove the same. Hence taking proper care of your teeth becomes extremely essential. It's critical to have a well-rounded oral care regimen and to use sophisticated dental products since gums that are healthy, teeth that are strong, breath that is neutral, and a tongue that is clean and healthy are all signs of general good health and hygiene. Maintaining apt oral health also helps to avoid the development of a variety of diseases and problems in the mouth.
Why is Oral Hygiene Important?
Helps Prevent Tooth Loss
In both children and adults, tooth loss is the most common dental issue that prevails. It can be caused due to a number of factors, including poor oral hygiene. Plaque buildup caused by poor oral hygiene can lead to major tooth decay or gum infection, both of which can result in tooth loss. Plaque can be reduced by brushing and flossing on a regular basis but are not enough to keep your oral care and hygiene in tip-top form; professional dental cleanings should be scheduled twice a year. This ensures that plaque and tartar are removed from hard-to-reach places in between teeth and gum lines.
Helps avoid other chronic diseases
You're more likely to acquire chronic conditions like heart disease or diabetes if you have untreated tooth decay (cavities). As you get older, your chances of having a stroke also increases if oral hygiene isn’t maintained. In addition to this, poor oral health also weakens your immune system over time.
Promotes whiter teeth and healthier gums
When you follow a proper oral care routine it helps you achieve whiter, stronger teeth and healthier gums in comparison to when you do not pay much heed to it. Healthier gums automatically mean stronger teeth.
What is an ideal oral health routine for a healthier mouth?
Following a proper oral healthcare routine can help avoid a lot of health related issues so here are a few steps you can follow:
Brush Your Teeth Regularly
Brush your teeth twice a day, for 2 minutes each time (your mom was right) using a toothbrush that has soft bristles which do not harm your gums. Brushing your teeth properly removes plaque build-up and bacteria that can otherwise collect between your teeth and on your tongue.
Place your manual toothbrush at 45% angle to the gums and move it back and forth. Remember to brush both the outside and inside surface of your teeth.
Electric toothbrushes work differently, as the head rotates on its own, negating any lax at the user’s end. It makes for a more thorough brushing, is safe for gums and is quite a bit of fun! You may want to check out an electric toothbrush with sonic technology that is proven to help you get cleaner teeth in comparison to a manual toothbrush. Electric Toothbrushes usually help with a dynamic clean action that is highly effective in removing plaque and stuck food between your gums and teeth.
Use a Dental Floss
You might feel that flossing isn’t an important thing to include in your routine if you brush properly and for exactly 2 minutes, but this is not true. It is recommended to floss your teeth at least once a day to get rid of any food that might be stuck between your teeth. Dental flossing regularly also helps minimise the risk of gingivitis and cavities.
Clean your tongue
Most people do not consider cleaning their tongue in their brushing routine. The tongue contains a lot of bacteria (some are good, some aren’t) and if not cleaned regularly can lead to bad breath and periodontal disease (inflammation of the gums). Cleaning the tongue also helps increase one’s sense of taste (a big incentive for the foodies out there).
How to clean your tongue, you ask? - Use a scraper to gently clean your tongue after you brush your teeth. Remember, scraping shouldn’t hurt. If it does, you’re probably pressing too hard.
Rinse Using a Mouthwash
It is a good practice to include mouthwash in your everyday oral healthcare routine as it helps get rid of any leftover food debris and harmful bacteria left behind after brushing and flossing. Mouthwash also leaves you with a refreshing breath.
If you’re suffering from dry mouth, opt for an alcohol-free mouthwash.
What other habits could one build for a healthier mouth?
Avoid acidic food items
Food items that contain high acidic properties cause a risk of wearing your tooth enamel which leads to issues like sensitivity, discoloration of teeth and increase the chances of cavities.
Avoid sugary drinks
Sugary drinks such as sodas are high in sugar and furthermore, they also include phosphoric and citric acids, which erode tooth enamel.
Rinse your mouth & drink water after every meal
Adding to the list of why water is so important for our bodies; here is another reason. Drinking water after every meal is suggested to help you get rid of any stuck food between your teeth. This helps keep your mouth clean for a long time.
Use a fluoride toothpaste
Using a fluoride toothpaste helps you keep cavities at bay and also helps during the early stages of tooth decay and controls the situation from worsening.
Change your Toothbrushes every 3-4 months
Dentists suggest that you change your toothbrushes every 3-4 months as the bristles worn out in this time period. Most brushes do not yield proper results after this and might also become prone to bacterial or fungal growth which can prove harmful. Electric toothbrushes have removable heads which should be replaced in a similar manner.
Change your toothbrush after illness to avoid reinfection
Changing your toothbrush after an illness should be a standard practice as your saliva contains the maximum germs when you are sick and hence might lead to a chance of reinfection.
Visit your dentist every six months
Getting regular dental check ups is a must. It helps you to ensure that your mouth is protected against diseases. Not only that, it also helps you with early diagnosis of cavities or any other issues that might exist.
Maintaining good oral hygiene may or may not be your priority, but as per science, it should be. It may take a little longer to inculcate these habits in your oral health care routine but it is worth your time. Good oral health routine can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for a longer period of your lifetime. Brushing and flossing regularly, eating a healthy diet, and seeing a dentist on a regular basis can all help you avoid cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems.