Dental hygiene is an important part of healthy living. We can actually stay safe from many diseases by maintaining a healthy mouth. Germs from the gums and mouth cavity, enter the main blood stream, and get distributed to the various parts of the body. This may cause damage to the heart, stomach, nervous system and our physiology in general. Healthy dental hygiene is just a matter of increased consciousness and routine care.
Choosing the right tooth brush and tooth paste
We should choose brushes with soft, round bristles that are certified by dental associations (like ADA). A brush with soft bristles acts gently upon and keeps the teeth healthy. Choose toothpaste with a fluoride base since fluoride helps fight bacteria and germs.
Brushing your teeth twice a day for 3-5 minutes should be enough. This may sound like a long time, but for a better result, this is a must. Also, we have to make sure that we adopt the right technique. The brushing motion should be angular and should be in a vertical motion. We should aim to reach in between the teeth, the back of the teeth and the remote molar teeth.
Myth: brushing vigorously for a long time is good for dental health.
Reality: vigorous brushing for long period harms the teeth and the gums.
Flossing is something that most of us find tiring. However, it should be an important part of our daily dental regimen. It makes us feel fresh, healthy and beautiful.
Myth: flossing creates gaps between teeth.
Reality: flossing, done right, cleans away the debris and makes the gum breathe.
Most people do not know that the reason for bad breath is an unclean tongue. Bacteria and debris deposit on the uneven surface of the tongue resulting in the bad smell. The bacteria stick on the tongue and sit there until they are cleaned away.
There are a few ways of cleaning the tongue; choose one that is comfortable. Some brush the tongue while holding it forward with some amount of paste on it. I find this uncomfortable as it causes me to gag. Scraping with a teaspoon is much easier for me. Some use tongue scrapers, which are easily available in stores. Rinse with medically certified mouth washes after scraping to complete the process.
Elaborate rinsing is an important part of dental health. Rinsing with certified mouth wash every time after eating sweets, beverages, candies, and acidic food is actually better than brushing.
Points to remember:
Brush gently with soft bristles twice a day. Do not brush immediately after eating food. Allow the food to settle down and keep a gap of about 30 minutes.
Use straws to drink beverages, juices or anything sugary. Direct contact with the sugar affects the gums and teeth more. Straws help in reducing the surface contact.
Drinking water after food intake cleanses the system by flushing off the mouth cavity and reduces the chances of tooth decay, tartars and bad breath.
Eating citrus fruits, fresh salads and veggies helps in fighting tooth decay and keeps the teeth stronger and healthier.
Chewing sugarless gums is helpful is cleaning off the particles that are lodged between the gaps of the teeth. It is also a good form of jaw exercise.
Changing the tooth brush every 3-4 months is desirable.
We should rinse the brush thoroughly after use and keep it in a covered and clean place.
Lastly, it’s better to visit the dentist once or twice a year, when there is no urgency. This will ensure your dental health and hygiene.