A healthy dental and oral cavity are essential to maintaining good overall health. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, general public health is directly related to their oral health.
The World Health Organization considers oral disease as a global burden affecting around 3.5 billion people. Poor oral health significantly affects a person’s physical, social, and emotional well-being. Various dental conditions can lead to pain, tooth loss, speech problems, problems with self-confidence, and other issues in a person’s life.
In general, untreated dental problems contribute significantly to public healthcare costs. It also entails indirect costs, particularly time lost from school or work, which can hamper a person’s productivity. It is estimated that around 92.4 million hours are lost due to unplanned dental visits. But all of these can be prevented with proper dental hygiene.
The goal of proper dental hygiene is to avoid tooth decay and gum disease, retard plaque buildup and formation of caries, prevent bad breath, and ensure healthy oral cavity. It involves habits and best practices aimed at keeping the teeth and gums healthy. Let’s check out some strategies.
Follow your scheduled dental appointments
Roughly half of adult American population skips dental visits because of finances, dental phobia, or just plain neglect. Dentists from Bajars and Bajars strongly urge everyone to pay a visit to their dental provider at least every six months or as recommended. They can detect actual and potential dental problems, and prevent them from becoming severe.
Some people think that dental visits are pricey and a waste of money. On the contrary, more frequent dental visits can actually keep dental care more affordable by preventing severe conditions and avoiding costly treatments and procedures.
As mentioned above, your dentist will recommend a schedule of dental appointments depending on your needs. Older adults and toddlers require more frequent checkups as they are more prone to oral health problems. For instance, older adults may have some conditions that can hinder dental hygiene, such as joint pains or loss of coordination. Meanwhile, younger children may still be unable to follow through with proper oral hygiene.
Adults who religiously perform dental hygiene best practices may be able to go less often. Before leaving the clinic, check your schedule and be sure to follow it.
Sugar or carbohydrate is the leading cause of cavities or tooth decay. It increases acidity and encourages the growth of bacteria in your mouth. Large amounts of bacteria in your mouth promote plaque formation, which is unhealthy to both your gums and teeth.
Cut down on sugary foods and load up on a healthy, fibrous diet. Furthermore, instead of drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, replace it with water. It doesn’t only help keep your teeth intact, water is also healthy for you!
If you love your teeth, you should stop smoking. Cigarettes contain nicotine and tar which is harmful to your gums. It can also cause discoloration and unsightly appearance of your teeth.
Smoking creates an environment that fosters bacterial growth and plaque formation on your teeth and gum line. Over time, it can harm the tissues and bones that support the tooth and, ultimately, increase the possibility of tooth loss. Not to mention, smoking increases the risk of oral cancer.
Brush your teeth properly
You’re probably brushing your teeth twice a day, but are you doing it properly? Majority of people don’t give much attention to how they do it. As a result, they are unable to clean up their oral cavity thoroughly.
When brushing your teeth, the toothbrush must be at a 45-degree angle pointing toward the gum line. Gently brush each tooth by using small, circular motions; 10 to 15 times for each tooth. Avoid overdoing or overly aggressive brushing. This can hurt the gum line and damage teeth. Gently brush your gum and tongue to remove stuck debris.
Also, make sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles and don’t forget to replace it at least every two to three months. However, you shouldn’t wait for that time. If the bristles are bent or blunted, you might have to buy a new one. For those with special dental or oral care needs, be sure to ask your dentist for a recommended toothbrush.
Floss your teeth at least once a day
Flossing can help keep your teeth and gums healthier. And just like brushing, you need to do it properly to avoid hurting the gum line. Wrap your index finger with about a foot of floss, while keeping two inches in between your fingers to work with. Keep the floss tight and gently slide it down between each tooth and move up. Make sure you covered the front and back of the crevice. For each tooth, unroll a fresh section of floss. Avoid flossing your tooth as it can damage it.
Use mouthwash or fluoride as directed
Mouthwash can be beneficial for your oral health. Usually, these dental care products contain compounds with powerful antibacterial properties. But since not all products contain the same composition, it is best to ask your dentist about the most appropriate mouthwash in your case.
Fluoride is known to help keep your teeth intact by preventing cavities. It is commonly found in soil as well as in mouthwashes and toothpaste. The lack of fluoride has been associated with tooth decay. In fact, many communities in the US have already added this compound to their water supply. To ensure that you have adequate teeth protection, make sure you choose a dental product that contains fluoride.