Dentipedia

Oral Health and Hygiene

So much of our general fitness and wellbeing relies on a healthy mouth and teeth. Poor oral health can affect the way we eat, speak, breath and sleep. It can also lead to other health problems throughout the body.

Therefore, a committed daily routine of oral hygiene is the least we can do to stay happy and healthy.

Brushing

Children might complain about it and teenagers might ignore it but the cornerstone of good oral hygiene remains brushing your teeth two or three times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush.

Correct brushing of your teeth removes particles of food that might otherwise stick to teeth and gather bacteria. This can result in bad breath, a build-up of plaque and potentially even gum disease and infection.

  • Use a recommended toothpaste containing fluoride
  • Brush gently with short strokes
  • Brush all the tooth surface; front, back and the chewing surface
  • Use a soft-bristled brush with a size and shape that allows you to easily reach all areas of your mouth
  • Replace your toothbrush as soon as the bristles become worn and frayed, but at least every twelve weeks

Flossing

Brushing your teeth will do most of the cleaning, but your toothbrush won’t be able to get everywhere. But to remove trapped food and plaque from in between your teeth, you will need to floss daily.

Failure to floss can lead to a build-up of plaque between your teeth, which can harden into tartar.

  • Wrap one end of the floss around your index or middle finger of one hand, and the other end around same finger of the other
  • Holding the floss tightly, gently guide it between your teeth. Don’t pull sharply straight down to the gum, but rub gently in between the teeth until it eases down
  • Once the floss is at the gum, curve it around one tooth and gently move the floss up and down the length of the tooth
  • Repeat the process for each tooth, front and back
  • Remember to also floss the outer edge of your back teeth

Regular Check-Ups

Most of us will need to visit the dentist twice a year for a dental check-up and a professional clean. This might seem unnecessary because out teeth ‘feel fine’. However, by the time we would normally notice a problem with our teeth, it could already be advanced.

Regular dental check-ups mean early detection of cavities and other problems that, left unchecked, could develop into more painful — and more expensive — health issues.

Your dentist will also give your teeth a professional clean, removing plaque and tartar that may have built up despite your best efforts at brushing and flossing.

Never wait until you have a toothache before booking an appointment to see your dentist. Schedule regular check-ups every six months.

Read more about dental check-ups

 

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