Your oral health tells so much about your overall health. Taking good care of your mouth is a worthy goal indeed as it brings you more benefits that you could ever imagine. Not only will it keep your teeth and mouth look clean and healthy, there are actually more health benefits you can get from good oral hygiene. A healthy mouth can ward off unnecessary disease and medical disorders. An unhealthy mouth on the other hand may increase your problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labor.
What makes up a good oral hygiene?
Good oral hygiene refers to all the habits you do to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy. It is more than just brushing, but includes the following:
- Proper Brushing – proper brushing takes at least two minutes. Most adults do not take that long to brush. To make sure you are doing an effective brushing, use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gumline, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration. Concentrate on cleaning the outer surfaces of your upper teeth and lower teeth, and do the same for the inner teeth. Also clean the chewing surfaces and brush your tongue for fresher breath.
It is recommended to use soft bristled toothbrush as it is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small headed brushes are also preferable because they can reach all areas of your mouth including the hard to reach back areas of your teeth. As for the toothpaste, pick one that’s right for you as there are many toothpaste designed for many conditions including cavities, gingivitis, tartar, stained teeth and sensitivity.
- Proper flossing – to remove plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot reach especially in the gum line and back of your teeth, proper flossing is required. Once a day flossing is recommended so as to avoid plaque build-up which results to tooth decay and gum disease.
To make sure you are following proper flossing techniques, follow the tips below:
- Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with
- Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth
- Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go beneath the gumline. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue
- Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
- To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth
- Use of mouthwash – To help disinfect your mouth, it is highly suggested to include mouth wash in your daily habit. It is important because it freshens your mouth in conjunction with brushing and flossing. It also helps tooth decay because most of the mouth washes have antibacterial and antiseptic properties, some of them also help reduce teeth sensitivity.
- Regular Dental Visits – aside from brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, to keep your mouth clean and fresh, regular dental visits are also a vital part of keeping a good oral hygiene. You are not asked to do this frequently, only twice a year trip to the dentist will do, if you do not have any existing oral condition that needs frequent monitoring and checkup. In your dental visit, your mouth will be checked by your dentist for any trouble concerning your oral health. This is where your dentist will be able to determine if there could be problems that could progress to more serious and complicated conditions later on. He will also do professional cleaning to be able to remove tartar build up in your teeth because this cannot be easily removed by just brushing and flossing. It is imperative that you take the time to visit your dentist every 6 months as this is how you can keep your mouth healthy and prevent oral health diseases such as gum and periodontal disease. Again prevention, is always better than cure.
We do not want poor oral health to cause us a lot of trouble in the long run. Not only will it cause you trouble in your mouth through cavities, tooth decay, gum problems, tooth lossand bad breath, it can also cause you serious medical conditions which can be life threatening. Establishing a good oral health routine is vital as well as convenient so take good care of your mouth before it is too late.