Oral Instruction and Maintenance
Oral hygiene is a phrase that receives a lot of attention; you will get oral hygiene tips from your dentist when you go for a check-up or a dental procedure, or you might read about it in magazines. However, what exactly is oral hygiene and how is it done?
Good oral hygiene is the ability to maintain a mouth that not only looks but also smells healthy. This includes having pink gums, gums that do not bleed or hurt when you floss and clean teeth,free of food particles.
To have bad breath when you wake up in the morning is normal, but when you brush your teeth and stick to an oral hygiene routine, your breath is not considered a problem. However, if it does smell, even after brushing, there might be a problem.
If your gums do bleed or hurt when you are brushing it can be due to bad technique, but you need to visit your dentist. A dentist will be able to guide you with oral hygiene instructions or oral hygiene tips that will help you identify areas where you can improve in, like brushing techniques or flossing.
This action can help prevent gum diseases and tooth decay.
What is Plaque?
Plaque is formed when bacteria in mucus forms a sticky residue and sticks on to the surface of the teeth. When you have eaten food, the bacteria release acids that are toxic to the enamel of the tooth. It attacks the enamel and if, repeatedly attacked, the enamel will weaken which will lead to tooth decay. This is the reason why you should brush your teeth directly before going to bed and should not consume food after brushing. This also relates to children. It is preferable that babies and young children do not eat sweet treats or even drink milk before going to bed, since the sugar in the food and beverage will aid in the bacterial attack on the enamel during the night.
If the plaque is not removed while brushing, and teeth are cleaned in between with flossing, the place will harden and form tartar. The bacteria present in the plaque irritate the gums and this will result in the gums being tender, might bleed, or even pull away from the gums. This will result in pockets forming where even more bacteria will have to change to accumulate, which will ultimately lead to the teeth being destroyed.
What is Fluoride?
If you want the best superhero to protect against cavities, you have to look at fluoride. Fluoride is a substance that is found in toothpaste, floss and in supplements. When fluoride meets the surface of the tooth, the enamel will absorb it. This hardens the enamel. In the event of bacteria attacking the enamel, the fluoride causes the enamel to have more resistance against the attack.
How Do I Practice Good Oral Hygiene?
When you look after your teeth and gums, you will feel happy when you smile. Someone with bad teeth and gums often has difficulty in speaking and eating, and experiences negative emotions regarding their well-being.
Oral hygiene must be part of a daily routine. You have to brush and floss daily in order to get rid of food debris and bacteria that will cause harm when uncleansed. If you are able to keep your teeth clean and healthy, your will prevent pain that will accompany gum disease but you will also save money on dental procedures that will be required to rectify the problems.
Here are some oral hygiene instructions that will help prevent and even eliminate dental problems:
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Brush your teeth twice and day and following brushing with flossing
- Eat a balanced diet and limit sugary snack between meals
- Use dental product like floss or toothpaste that contains fluoride
- If you live in an area that is non-fluoride, children under 12 have to take in fluoride supplements
Child and Family Oral Hygiene Tips
If you have children, it is very important that you teach your child how to care for his/her teeth. Cavities can prevented A child should be taken for dentist check-up at least once or twice a year. Some good oral hygienetips include:
- Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle. If you must use a bottle, rather put water in it. Milk and juice can cause cavities
- Use the bottle for feeding but do not use bottle as pacifier because this may also lead to cavities.
- Hold your baby while feeding him but when he falls asleep remove the bottle and put him in the bed
- Do not let your toddler walk around with the bottle
Your family, children included, should brush teeth twice a day. However, keep in mind that children follow by example and therefore the parent needs to show the child that brushing is a normal part of the day’s routine by brushing in front or even with the child. If you establish good habits, you child will follow.
Other oral hygiene tips can also be associated with food. Frequent snacking is one of the things that encourage bacterial activity. The frequency that you snack and what you snack plays a big role in the fight against tooth decay. It is true that children do snack more frequently during the day, but unfortunately, it is more likely to be snacks that contain sugar.
Every time food like cookies and chips containing sugar and starch is consumed, the bacteria and sugar forms an acid and then the plaque “attacks” the tooth’s enamel. This attack can last up to 20 minutes after food or beverages have been consumed.
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For more information about our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch