Basic dental hygiene tips everyone should know!

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

October 31, 2018

Maintaining oral hygiene helps to prevent a range of dental problems like dental caries, sensitivity, bad breath etc. Can be a task as many of us don’t know, what all it actually takes to care for our teeth. Most of the people don’t know how to take care of your oral hygiene apart from just brushing teeth twice daily. But here are some easy oral hygiene measures that will help to keep your pearly whites in the best condition.

Brush your teeth right

It is necessary to brush our teeth using the proper technique. It is important to choose the correct toothbrush which is approved by the Dental Health Association. Check the ADA seal of acceptance while choosing the right toothbrush. One should preferably use a soft bristle brush. You can also use electric toothbrushes to make your life simple and hassle free. But remember to keep changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Same goes for an electric toothbrush, make sure you replace the brush head every 3-4 months.

Flossing is an under rated hygiene activity 

We live in a world where our nails are more important to us than our teeth. We take efforts to clean our nails, but not our teeth. Why so? Flossing is such an underrated hygiene activity, but it’s so important. You will only realize the importance of flossing your teeth, when you actually do it. When you floss your teeth you can practically see the soft layered white deposits getting stuck on the floss thread. Try it out! Only then will you realize where you were going wrong all this while.

Its not a one time thing. The moment you eat or drink anything, plaque tends to form and builds-up again between your teeth. Hence, flossing daily is very important to prevent cavities that occur between two teeth. Flossing properly removes plaque and food particles in the crevices of your molars where a toothbrush cannot easily reach. Hence brushing alone does not suffice. 

Follow the right diet

Foods such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, milk products are teeth friendly. You also need to cut the consumption of sugary and processed foods which can lead to a number of dental issues.

Include more fruits in your diet 

Fruits are more fibrous in nature which mechanically cleans the teeth. The fibers in the fruits, remove, break through and  flushes out the plaque present on the teeth as well as in between the teeth, eg. Apples, pears, sweet limes oranges etc. Citric fruits like oranges and Amla (Indian gooseberry) are rich sources of vitamin C improving gum health. Studies show Jamun (Java plum or more commonly called as the Black plum) also improves dental hygiene. 
Also, sugars present in the fruits are natural sugars that do not take part in accelerating the process of tooth cavities. So there is no harm in including as many fruits as possible in your diet.

Avoid consumption of sodas and alcohol

Just like flowing water can also cause holes or soil erosion washes the soil away, similarly fizzy and sugary drinks can cause tooth erosion. It is the loss of enamel caused due to acid attack. This acid in the drinks causes small holes in the tooth exposing the inner layers of the tooth. This makes your teeth more prone to sensitivity and tooth decay. Also, sugars present in the drinks just accelerate the process of decay. The best is to avoid the consumption or soda, alcohol and sugary drinks.

Stop tobacco intake

However, it is so easy to say this, it’s that difficult for people to actually practice it. But trying is the key. People who are finding is absolutely difficult to stop this habit, can start by reducing the amount of consumption. Cessation of tobacco can save you right from gum diseases to fetal conditions such as oral cancer.

People who have aesthetic concerns regarding their smiles, like dark lips and dark gums are the results of the heat and nicotine content in the cigarettes. Dark gums indicate less blood supply to the gums, which causes them to become weak and more susceptible to gum diseases, like gingivitis and periodontitis. Furthermore, the use of chewing gums or mouth fresheners to mask the bad breath of tobacco doubles the damage to your teeth.

Say NO to toothpicks

Some people have a constant habit of pinning their teeth with small tiny objects. They will find anything and everything in their reach to get rid of the food stuck between their teeth. However, needles or even toothpicks for that matter are not sterile. By doing so, in case you lose your control or grip over the toothpick it can tear your gums and cause bleeding. This small habit can lead to infections in your mouth specially gum infections. So should you let those food particles irritate you all along? No. But try reaching for the floss pick instead of a toothpick. Floss picks are more sterile and do not cause tearing and bleeding of gums.

 

Don’t you forget tongue cleaning

Just like flossing, tongue cleaning is also such an underrated hygiene activity. Just like you bathe every day to clean all parts of your body, similarly, the tongue is also a part of your body, a part of your mouth. By just brushing your teeth, you are not keeping your oral cavity 100% bacteria-free. Tongue cleaning is very important and a basic dental hygiene activity that should ideally be done after every meal.

Lastly, visit your dentist twice yearly even if all is well

This dental hygiene tip may sound very cliche, but is the most important of all. You may think, why visit your dentist even when all is well? Your mouth is the first to show any signs and symptoms of various underlying diseases. Your dentist can predict and prevent future dental as well as overall health-related issues. Hence it is very important to visit your dentist twice yearly to maintain good dental hygiene and keep your mouth free from dental diseases.

Highlights

  • Everyone knows they have to brush their teeth twice daily, but what they fail to know are the basic dental hygiene tips apart from brushing their teeth.
  • Apart from brushing, oil pulling, flossing, tongue cleaning are basic dental hygiene measures that everyone must practice.
  • Habits like constant tooth picking, intake of soda or alcoholic drinks and smoking are harmful habits that stop you from having a good dental hygiene.
  • Visit your dentist twice yearly to prevent tooth cavities and future health conditions.

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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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