Dental hygiene or oral hygiene is the practice of keeping your teeth and mouth clean. It can be maintained by brushing your teeth twice daily, regular flossing and visit to a dentist once in six months. Some of the symptoms of bad dental health include bleeding gums, bad breath and pain in the teeth.
Benefits of Dental Hygiene:
Proper dental hygiene prevents one from getting mouth-related diseases like cavities, gingivitis and periodontitis. A cavity is an infectious disease which damages the entire structure of teeth while gingivitis is a gum-related disease which is caused by development of plaque in the gums due to exposure to bacteria.
It also prevents erosion of teeth which can be caused by consumption of acidic foods and drinks. It also prevents bad breath which can create embarrassing situation for you in front of your friends, family and colleagues.
Maintenance of Dental Hygiene:
- Brushing: Dental Hygiene can be maintained by brushing your teeth twice a day. Brush your teeth and gum in circular motion so that bristles of your toothbrush touch the gum too. Brushing in this manner will help prevent development of cavities and plaque bacteria which is caused due to consumption of foods or drinks that are acidic in nature. Plaque bacteria are one of the main causes of most dental problems.You should brush your children's teeth until they reach the age of six or seven years because they won't be able to do it properly themselves. Teach them the right technique once they turn six year old. You can use tongue cleaner or special toothbrushes with very soft bristles for your toddler. Though fluoride is good for teeth, you must avoid fluoride toothpaste for children less than six years of age as it might have bad effect on the development of their teeth.
- Flossing: Besides brushing your teeth regular, you can also use dental floss to help clean areas between teeth which cannot be properly cleaned by toothbrush. Dental floss is kind of a string which can be used to clean areas between teeth and around the gum.
- Regular check-up with dentist: Every one must visit a dentist after every six months to get your teeth cleaned of plaque or cavities that might have developed even after proper teeth brushing and regular flossing. However, if you re suffering from any mouth-related disorder, your visit to a dentist should be frequent, say once in three months, depending upon your condition.
Foods that help maintain Oral or Dental Hygiene:
- Dairy products like milk, cottage cheese and curd helps strengthen teeth and reduces damage caused by exposure to acid. Foods rich in vitamin B and C like cereals, fruits and vegetables make gum tissue healthy. Foods that are rich in fiber are also helpful. Consumption of fish and poultry too is beneficial for maintaining dental hygiene.
Foods to be avoided to maintain hygiene:
Excessive consumption of sugar -– be it directly or indirectly in the form of sweets, cold drinks or chocolates -- is one of the major causes of dental cavities and erosion. Limiting your sugar intake may decrease your chances of getting oral disorders.
Foods that stick to the teeth should also be avoided as they decrease the level of Ph in teeth which is necessary to prevent development of plaque or cavities.
Consumption of tobacco, which is considered to be one of the major causes of oral cancer, should be avoided. Alcohol too should be consumed in limited manner as acid in them encourages development of plaque.
Prevention is the best policy in the case of maintaining your dental hygiene. Maintain your dental hygiene and smile to your heart's content and let everybody around envy you.