How to keep your oral cavity 100% bacteria free

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

March 13, 2019

Why does your shining white shirt look dull and stained even though washed regularly? You must have tried everything to make it look new, right from changing the detergent . But still, something is missing.

This is because a washing machine and detergent cannot clean your collar, cuffs, and pockets. Similarly, only brushing regularly can’t keep your teeth perfectly clean.

Only brushing does not suffice

Like the shirt, our teeth are lined with a number of crests and troughs. Food particles get stuck into a number of gaps in our teeth. Normal brushing can never remove them easily. There is a natural tendency for the bacterial colonies to build up on the teeth. This is called plaque and will build up anytime you eat or drink. But this plaque resides on the gum line between the gums (causing gum diseases) and the teeth (causing cavities). So, what is the solution for this? 

The solution is to practice oil pulling, flossing, brushing tongue cleaning and rinsing your mouth to have a 100% bacteria free oral cavity. The key is to get rid of plaque and tartar deposits on your teeth.

 

Oil pulling first thing in the morning 

Oil pulling is also called yoga for the mouth. Practicing oil pulling can help reduce the bacterial load in the mouth and help improve oral hygiene. Oil pulling with 100% pure edible coconut oil can reduce the plaque buildup on the teeth and prevent cavities. Oil pulling is one Ayurvedic way of keeping your mouth 100% bacteria free. The lauric acid in the coconut oil breaks the microbial colonies and flushes them off the tooth surfaces.

How to practice oil pulling?

Its just simple. Squish about 1-2 tablespoons of pure edible coconut oil in your mouth for about 10 -15 minutes. After squishing make sure you spit the oil out. 

Do you really need to floss your teeth?

There are a number of people who are unaware of dental flossing or say that it is not necessary. Dental floss is basically a cord or thread of thin filament which is used to remove dental plaque between the teeth.

Dental floss involves interdental cleaning and is available in various brands and flavors in the market. The American Dental Association reports that dental flossing can remove up to 80% of plaque.

What if I don’t floss?

We always want our house, clothes, and surroundings clean. And we often buy expensive products and watch youtube videos on how to clean bad stains or use different cleansing products. Then why do we forget that our teeth require deep cleaning too?

When you skip flossing, you are at risk of two major dental problems. One is the gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis and the other is tooth cavities. A normal toothbrush cannot remove plaque deposits trapped between your teeth.

Journal of Clinical Microbiology mentions that there are over a thousand bacteria in dental plaque. The bad bacteria in the plaque impact the gums as well as the enamel of your tooth. More the plaque, the bad bacteria reproduce more breeds of bacteria and cause gingivitis.

Proper technique of flossing

The American Dental Hygienists Association explains 4 easy steps for proper flossing:

  1. Wind: Wind about 15 to 18 inches of your dental floss enough to cover all your teeth either around your middle finger of both the hands. Using the middle finger allows the index finger to manipulate the floss. Pinch the floss between thumb and index finger and leave 1-2 inch length in between.
  2. Hold: Using the fingers hold the floss taut and use the index finger to adjust the floss between contacts of the lower teeth.
  3. Glide: Gently, glide your floss between the teeth by using Zig-Zag motion. Be careful with the floss and don’t make a harsh movement. Make a C shape with the floss around your tooth.
  4. Slide: Now slide the floss up and down gently against the tooth surface and under the gum line. Repeat the movement for each tooth. Unroll a fresh section of floss from one finger to the other.

 

Is brushing and flossing enough?

No! You are not keeping your mouth 100% bacteria-free if you are only brushing and flossing your teeth. Believe it or not, tongue cleaning is as important as brushing and flossing your teeth. Our tongue too is a harbor for the bacteria. Studies show using a tongue cleaner/ tongue scraper to clean your tongue removes 30% of the sulfur-containing compounds responsible for causing bad breath in comparison to using a toothbrush to clean your tongue.

How to clean your tongue?

  1. Stand in front of a mirror, open your mouth just enough to stick out your tongue.
  2. Gently place the rounded edge of the tongue scraper at the back of your tongue.
  3. If you find yourself gagging, start at the middle of your tongue towards the tip. Then you can gradually start from farther back as you get used to scraping.
  4. Gently touch the scraper to your tongue. Slowly pull it forward, toward the tip of your tongue. Never push the tongue cleaner backwards, always go from the back of the tongue to the tip.
  5. After each scrape, use a tissue to clean the debris or simply clean it with water under the running tap.
  6. Repeat scrapping until the entire area of the tongue is covered. Usually 4-6 strokes are more than enough to clean your tongue.
  7. Wash the tongue scraper with warm water and soap, dry, and store in a clean, dry area. You can even sterilize it if your tongue scraper is a metal one. Simply dip it in boiling water to sterilize it.

Rinsing your mouth

Rinsing your mouth with plain water, or even using a mouthwash can help get rid of the bad bacterias in the mouth. Squishing your mouth with water flushes out all the food particles, debris, and bacteria causing bad breath away. One can use non-alcoholic mouthwashes or practice warm salt water rinses as home remedies to keep the bacteria away. Rinsing after every meal also proves to be a good practice to keep the cavities at bay.

Highlights

  • Keep your oral cavity 100% bacteria free by practicing good oral hygiene. This keeps your oral cavity as well as body healthy.
  • A simple habit of flossing once a day may improve not only your smile but also your overall health.
  • Brushing your teeth is not enough. You cannot complain about your teeth if you are only brushing your teeth.
  • Along with brushing, practicing oil pulling, flossing, and tongue cleaning is very important to keep your oral cavity 100% bacteria free.

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Dr. Amrita Jain is a practicing dental surgeon since 4 years. She completed her B.D.S in 2016 and was has been a rank holder throughout her course. She suggests “Holistic dentistry is the best dentistry”. Her treatment line follows a conservative pattern which means saving a tooth is of utmost priority and preventing your teeth from getting decayed rather than curing it with a root canal treatment. She inculcates the same while consulting her patients. Apart from her interest in clinical practice, she has developed interest in research and writing over a period of time. She states “It is my clinical experience that motivates me to write and spread dental awareness”. Her articles are well researched with a combination of technical knowledge and clinical experience.
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