How to Keep Your Teeth & Gums Healthy

In order to save your teeth from dental issues, it is always better to avoid depositing plaques. Consumption of food, especially sweet and sugary, activates the bacteria present in our mouth. They start working on it, breaking down the sugar to produce acids that form a sticky biofilm, plaque. It deposits on the teeth resulting in gradual decomposition of teeth and creating dental cavities. Only brushing is not enough to ensure the safety of teeth against diseases.

Let us have an insight into various dental issues that can arise in the absence of proper dental care.

1) Tooth decay

The deposition of plaque in large amounts can damage the enamel of the tooth. Food substances such as chocolate, sweets, candies, cold drinks, cookies or even fruit juice with artificial sugar helps to activate the bacteria, residing in our mouth & are responsible for the formation of plaque. Plaque affects the mineral components of the teeth. This caries or tooth decay is preventable but with a few tips from the dentist.

2) Sensitivity of tooth

Enamel is the hard substance that protects the dentine of the human body and gums that protect tooth roots. The deposition of plaque affects the enamel or the gums leaving the dentin exposed to sensitivity.

Very thin tubules present in dentin runs down to tooth pulp. In case anyone suffers from the revealed inner part of the tooth or irritation at the nerve endings, it would definitely result in the sensitivity issues.

3) Gum illnesses

Gum diseases initiate with the formation of plaque that can further result in inflammation, bone damage or tooth loss. Symptoms like easy bleeding, swelling of the gums or redness in the gums are the symptoms related to the start of gum diseases or gingivitis. Further deterioration in these conditions can lead to periodontitis in which tooth loses grip on gums and begin to fall out. Daily and proper flossing and brushing help in preventing diseases to a large extent.

Dentist, therefore, always recommend following certain tips to prevent the formation of plaque :-

1) Use the right kind of toothbrush and correct brushing techniques

Right from choosing the right kind of brush, to correct ways of brushing techniques, each aspect plays a crucial role in maintaining dental hygiene and health. Always choose a brush with soft bristles and small head so that it can reach into the cervix of your molar teeth. This is the usual place for food debris to hide.

According to the International Dental Health Association, adults require small or medium size toothbrush to clear up this debris whereas kids should use soft bristle ones.

Don’t underestimate the role of brushing techniques. Start brushing at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Thereafter back and forth strokes across the sides and gradually move towards the top of your teeth. To clean the back of your teeth, hold the brush vertically and use quite a number of few shorter strokes on the anterior teeth. It will help to clear the plaque-build in them.

American Dental Association recommends brushing for at least two minutes, twice daily, for teeth to stay healthy. If you think the two-minute count is slightly difficult, couple brushing with a short song, YouTube video or set timer on your handset to notify about the time lapse necessary for thorough cleaning of your teeth.

2) Use of mouthwash and flossing

Just like brushing, flossing is also important to reach in between the teeth as here the germs get stuck. The ideal length of floss is up to 18 inches, with which you can clean up every tooth with a fresh area of floss. Inserting the same piece of floss in every tooth can lead to bacteria reinsertion that you just removed. The right technique for flossing is rubbing it against the teeth in the motion, shaping a forward and backward C, wrapped around each tooth.

A good quality mouthwash also goes a long way in maintaining dental health because it can sweep in areas where toothbrushes and floss cannot reach. It helps to get rid of debris that causes irritation to the gum line leading to gingivitis.

3) Choose the right toothpaste

Just like the numerous choices available in toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste are also available in a larger variety. Look for the seal of acceptance by Dental Association before choosing the toothpaste. Your toothpaste should meet strict manufacturing rules and regulations. It should strike a perfect balance between thorough cleaning and a permissible dose of fluoride. The approval seal from Dental Association guarantees the safety of the product.

4) Change your habits

If you are into the habit of drinking tea or coffee regularly in small sips, it leads to destroying of the enamel of your teeth. Hence, dentists suggest finishing the beverage as quickly as possible.

Also, brushing teeth right after having a meal or drink can disturb the pH balance in the mouth. The tooth enamel is a little softer for short duration right after drinking or eating. So, always make a habit of brushing at least after 30-40 minutes time gap.

Disinfected swimming pool water can have a negative impact on teeth hygiene. It was found in a study conducted by an American scientist that 40% of swimmers suffer from tooth enamel damage.

Brushing in the shower or on the toilet is also not recommended because during this time you would not focus on proper brushing technique. So, dental doctors recommend other alternatives such as playing a favorite song for 2 to 3 minutes to focus on brushing.

Chewing a lot of ice or relishing on nuts can also damage your gums and the tooth enamel.

If you are into the habit of midnight snacking, your teeth are surely more prone to bacteria and food particles debris. Make sure you brush properly before going to bed.

5) Keep a regular check on your toothbrush

Just like your teeth, your brush also needs a thorough cleaning. American Dental Association warns against covering toothbrush as that can actually lead to the breeding of new bacteria and inserting the same in mouth. So, always rinse your brush thoroughly after each use and allow it to dry in air.

Never share your brush with anyone else.

Bristles of toothbrush get damage with time and usage. So, keep changing your toothbrush on a regular basis.

Visit your dentist on regular intervals for a complete dental checkup.

A quick roundup

Follow the above mentioned dental hygiene tips like choosing the best quality products certified by the Dental Association, curtail intake of artificial sugar, pay regular visits to the dentist.

All these tips will surely power up your smile, keeping your mouth cavity free. Don’t forget to take immediate advice of professional in case some acute problem arises. Many a time, in severe cases doctors have to sedate the patients. But nothing to worry about, a proper procedure is followed and the patients’ vital signs are monitored through Edan monitors.

These days some toothbrushes come with a ridged scraper on their back. This helps to scrape your tongue while brushing, which is a must because bacteria reside on the tongue too. Thorough cleaning is key to dental health because that not only banishes bacterial growth but also keeps your breath fresh. Work hard to improve your brushing techniques as these ensure complete teeth care.

“If you are capable of brushing your teeth in mindfulness, then you will be able to enjoy the time when you take a shower, cook your breakfast, sip your tea”.

Nhat Hanh

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