By,Dr. P. Karunakar Principal, Professor & HOD, Former President of Indian Dental Association Department of Conservative Dentistry& Endodontics Panineeya Mahavidyalaya Institute of Dental Sciences, Hyderabad
When our mouths aren’t healthy, our general health is also not normal and may be subjected to serious disease, so taking care of our mouth is just as significant as taking care of the rest of our body.
Maintaining teeth healthy is a continues lifetime care. Even if you are told that you have nice teeth, it’s very important to take the right steps every day to take care of them and prevent any oral problems. This involves getting the right oral care products, as well as being mindful of your daily habits.
Here are some useful tips to maintain a healthy mouth and strong teeth. Regular brushing of teeth is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene. The toothpaste helps in washing away bacteria and food, and also provides additional ingredients such as fluoride and antimicrobial agents to strengthen teeth and enhance their protection. It is recommended to brush twice daily for 2 minutes each time. Place your toothbrush at a 45- degree angle against the gums.
Move the brush back and forth gently in short (tooth-wide) strokes. Brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, using a gentle up-and-down stroke. Toothbrush must be changed regularly (3 month), so that it is always in good condition. Plaque can also build up on your tongue and can not only cause bad mouth odour, but it can lead to other oral health problems. Hence, gently brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth. Teeth Flossing – The use of dental floss is important for the cleaning of the areas between teeth (interdental cleaning) and under the gum line.
These are areas where the toothbrush bristles can’t reach and clean and is a way to stimulate the gums, reduce plaque, and help lower inflammation in the area. For this reason, we have to floss our teeth at least once a day in addition to tooth brushing. Flossing can be difficult, especially for young children and older adults. Rather than give up, look for tools that can help you floss your teeth Mouth Wash – Mouthwashes or mouth rinses can be used complementary of brushing and flossing.
Although their most common use is for freshening the breath, they do also contain fluoride and that increase teeth protection and its antimicrobial action helps in get rid of the last few traces of bacteria in the mouth. The use of mouthwashes can NOT a substitute to regular brushing and flossing of teeth. Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups promotes healthy teeth and gums. A balanced eating plan that includes fruits, vegetables, protein foods, grains and dairy provides essential nutrients for optimum oral health as well as overall health.
Limit sugary and processed foods, as every time you eat or drink anything, the sugar is utilized by the bacteria in plaque and produce harmful acids making teeth susceptible to decay. Acidic foods and drinks can be just as harmful as they can make your teeth sensitive and unsightly. Habits like smoking, tobacco chewing and alcohol consumption have adverse effects on oral hygiene, which include discoloration of teeth, build-up of plaque and tartar and high risk of developing gum disease. Further, these habits weaken the body’s immune system, which in turn lets the bacteria in the mouth take hold, leading to a myriad of health problems ranging from tooth loss to a heart attack. Hence, it is important that one refrains from such habits to maintain better oral hygiene and, subsequently, a healthy life. A dentist will be the first health care provider to diagnose a health problem in its early stages and can play a major role in improving one’s oral and overall health.