The practice of keeping your mouth, teeth and gums clean by regular brushing flossing and dental checkups to prevent dental problems such as dental cavities, periodontal diseases, gingivitis, and bad breath is called oral hygiene.
A Healthy Mouth has the following characteristics-
• Teeth are clean and there is no debris present in them
• Pink gums and they do not pain or bleed when brushed or flossed
• There is no consistent problem of bad breath
It is very important to have a good oral health as it not only serves for aesthetic purposes giving you a good smile but also is good for the overall health. It is known to prevent some problems such as gum disease, heart disease, bone loss, stroke, and infection. Also, several clinical studies have shown that a bad oral hygiene can be a trigger for the following diseases-
• Cardiovascular Diseases such as heart attack and stroke.
• Extremely low or high birth weight of infants
• Diabetes and complications related to it
• Bacterial Pneumonia
Here are some important dentist or orthodontist recommended tips to keep a healthy mouth.
1. Regular Brushing- It is absolutely essential to brush your teeth at least once a day. It helps in the removal of tartar and dental plaque from the teeth along with getting rid of bad breath. The dental plaque and tartar can be very dangerous over a period of time as it may cause cavities, tooth decay, gum diseases, and gingivitis. The highest number of tooth loss throughout the world is either due to tooth decay or gum diseases. Tooth decay occurs when food particles are left trapped inside the fissures of the teeth due to not brushing or improper brushing of teeth.
2. Dental sealants are used by dentists to cover up the fissures on teeth on the back of the mouth so that no more trapping of food can happen and hence, preventing tooth decay. A visit to the dentist at least once every six months is also very important for the cleaning of the teeth.
3. Healthy and balanced diet- A healthy diet and avoiding snacks high in carbohydrates and sticky sweet snacks can prevent periodontal diseases and tooth decay. Also, consumption of sodas, alcohol, and coffee can cause the detrimental action on teeth as they have large quantities of phosphorous. Phosphorous is essential for a healthy mouth in small quantities but after a certain level, it can cause cavities. There are a number of foods that ensure the safety of teeth against tooth decay. Foods that contain fluoride as it prevents cavities by maintaining the pH level of your mouth. Water contains fluoride naturally and in community water, fluoride is added separately in 1 ppm quantity to maintain dental health. There are certain foods that must be avoided at all accounts such as carbohydrates especially cooked starches and sugars especially sticky sugars. E.g. - chips and other fried foods, toffee and chocolates etc.
4. Flossing- This step is often forgotten or ignored while going through the everyday chore of brushing your teeth. This helps the cleaning of spaces between the teeth where general brushing or even using mouthwash will not do it. Dentists recommend flossing at least once in a day.
5. Avoiding Tobacco- Tobacco is extremely dangerous for your health, not only does it cause mouth cancer and lung cancer but it also complications in your oral health. Generally, smokers try to compensate for the smell of cigarettes by drinking alcohol, tea, coffee etc, which in turn doubles the danger done to their teeth.
6. Cleaning your tongue- Cleaning the surface of your tongue is just as important for your dental health as cleaning your teeth. It removes harmful bacteria from your tongue which otherwise will cause halitosis or bad breath and tooth damage.
7. Regularly visiting your dentist - Regular visits to your dentist or orthodontist will ensure that dental problems are at bay. But, if you don't take care of your oral health, there is a huge chance for the development of complications. It is absolutely essential that when any kind of a toothache, gum bleed or any other symptoms presents itself, you must rush to your dentist.