Healthy teeth and gums can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems. Good oral hygiene is also important during pregnancy.
This study was conducted on patients/clients visiting private dental clinics in Hawassa city. The findings revealed that more than one-third of the participants had poor practice regarding oral hygiene. This was associated with being male, living in rural area and poor knowledge.
Brushing several times a day keeps the teeth and gums free from plaque, food particles and other debris that can cause tooth decay. A toothbrush with soft bristles and a fluoride toothpaste help to keep teeth strong and healthy. Look for a product with the ADA seal, which lets you know it has been approved by the American Dental Association for safety and effectiveness.
Besides regular teeth cleanings from the dentist and hygienist, brushing regularly is one of the best things you can do to maintain optimal oral health. A healthy diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods can also benefit your dental hygiene.
For those with difficulty brushing their teeth, a mouthwash can be an effective addition to their routine. A mouthwash can kill bacteria in hard-to-reach spots that a toothbrush cannot reach. A daily rinse can also prevent dry mouth, which increases your risk for oral disease and other issues. A mouthwash should be alcohol free and only used as directed by a dental healthcare professional. MagnusCards, a library of digital life skills guides that combines social stories with visual cues and an interactive character guide named Magnus, can help some people learn to brush their teeth.
Dental floss is one of the most important tools for preventing gum disease and cavities. This is because it removes bacteria and food particles from small gaps and tight spaces that a toothbrush cannot reach. These areas are particularly susceptible to infection because they collect bacteria and sugars all day long.
You should make flossing a part of your daily oral hygiene routine, either before or after brushing your teeth. You can also use mouthwash to clean your teeth and help eliminate bad breath, but swishing with a rinse does not replace flossing in your dental hygiene routine.
Flossing should be done with 18 inches of floss, and you should wind most of it around the middle finger of one hand, leaving just a little behind on your fingers. Then, you should slide the floss between each of your teeth, creating a C shape around each tooth to ensure that the floss reaches under the gum line and gets rid of bacteria and food debris.
Flossing can be difficult at first, but it will become easier with practice. If you find that you are having trouble flossing correctly, ask a dental hygienist to show you how to do it properly.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Keeping up with regular dental appointments is a critical component of good oral health. Not only will it ensure that your smile is sparkling and bright, but a healthy mouth can even help prevent serious medical problems like heart disease.
During these visits, your dentist will not only perform a routine cleaning, but will also check for signs of trouble like cavities or gum disease. If they see these issues, they will be able to address them early before they become more serious problems.
Additionally, your dentist will likely use X-rays to get a better look at your teeth and jawbone, which can help identify problems that might not be visible otherwise. These can include wisdom teeth that are impacted, bone decay, cysts, or tumors.
The recommended schedule for visiting the dentist varies, and should be determined by your individual needs. For example, those who have a history of dental issues, or other risk factors, may need to visit the dentist more often than others. Your dental hygienist can advise you on the best dental appointment schedule for you.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The foods you eat have a large impact on your dental health. It is important to eat a balanced diet and avoid sugary, processed or acidic foods. Eating a variety of whole fruits and vegetables, dairy products like milk and yogurt, protein-rich foods like meats and beans and grains can help ensure that you get all of the nutrients your body needs.
Eating meals at regular times and limiting snacking can also help keep your teeth healthy. If you must snack, choose nutrient-rich foods such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt, nuts and fruit. These snacks will stimulate saliva production and help to wash away food particles before they can harm your teeth.
Sticky foods such as candy, cookies, granola bars and candies should be avoided as they can cause tooth decay by coating the teeth with sugar and providing fuel for bacteria. Drinking water and chewing sugar-free gum between meals can help increase saliva flow, helping to wash away extra food and neutralize acids that may damage teeth. Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables can also help protect your teeth from harmful acid-producing bacteria.
Practicing good dental hygiene by brushing and flossing daily, visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and using antimicrobial mouth rinses can significantly lower the risk of oral health issues like gum disease, tooth decay and cancer. It is also important to avoid foods that are high in sugar, as well as tobacco and alcohol, which contribute to these problems.
Smoking, either cigarette or smokeless tobacco, restricts blood flow to the gums, which can lead to periodontal (gum) disease. It is also a significant contributor to oral cancer, which can spread to the larynx (voice box), lungs and esophagus.
Smokers should use a toothbrush with stiff bristles and whitening toothpaste to remove stains caused by smoking. They should also use a water flosser or interdental brush to reach the hard-to-reach places in their mouth. They should also avoid smoking, as it can interfere with the healing process after dental procedures. This can lead to complications like dry socket, a painful condition that occurs when the blood clot after a tooth removal or gum surgery is dislodged.