Oral Hygiene

Effects of poor oral hygiene

The main purpose of dental hygiene is to prevent the build-up of plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Bacterial plaque accumulated on teeth because of poor oral hygene is the causative factor of the major dental problems.
Poor oral hygiene allows the accumulation of acid producing bacteria on the surface of the teeth. The acid demineralizes the tooth enamel causing tooth decay (cavities). Dental plaque can also invade and infect the gums causing gum disease and periodontitis.
In both conditions, the final effect of poor oral hygiene is the loss of one or more teeth. You should not wait until a tooth is lost, just then to understand the importance of oral hygiene and preventive care.
Many dental health problems, such as oral thrush, trench mouth, bad breath and others are considered as effect of poor dental hygiene. Most of the dental and mouth problems may be avoided by maintaining good oral hygiene.
The cost of several dental treatments is significant and you may not be able to afford it if you are not covered by a good dental insurance. Learn how to choose a dental insurance plan that will help you provide the best dental treatment to yourself and your family.


Importance of good oral hygiene

Prevention is always better than treatment. Good oral hygiene habits will keep away most of the dental problems saving you from toothaches and costly dental treatments.
The interesting part is that it can be achieved by dedicating only some minutes every day to dental hygiene care. A large number of various oral hygiene products, beyond the usual toothpaste and toothbrush, are available in the market to help you in this effort.
Unfortunately, most of us remember the importance of oral hygiene instructions only when a problem occurs. Research has shown that while patient activation can show an immediate improvement in oral hygene habits, only a small percentage keeps the same standards six months later. Maintaining good dental hygeine should be a lifelong everyday habit.
Awareness regarding the importance of oral hygiene has significantly increased in the developed countries, but contrary to that, the modern dietary lifestyle habits are posing a greater risk for oral health. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being.
Daily preventive oral care, with proper brushing and flossing, will help stop dental problems before they develop and are much less painful, expensive, and worrisome than treating conditions that have been allowed to progress.


 

How to maintain good oral hygiene

It is important to learn how to maintain good dental hygiene from early childhood. Parents should teach their children the proper use of oral hygiene products. Good oral hygiene should be a joined effort involving you and your dentist. Not all of us have the same needs.

 

Ask your dentist how to maintain good oral hygiene. Your dentist or dental hygienist will give you the proper dental hygeine instructions and teach you the correct way of brushing and flossing. The dentist will identify your individual needs and help you build your own oral care plan.


Signs of good oral hygiene

 

Good oral hygiene results in a mouth that looks and smells healthy. This means:
Your teeth are clean and free of debris
Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
Bad breath is not a constant problem


The most important oral hygiene instructions

In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These instructions include:
Brush your teeth at least twice a day or after every meal, with a fluoride toothpaste.
Floss your teeth at least once a day
Watch your diet. Avoid sugar and limit snacks between meals

Daily Tips

Daily Tips for Good Oral HygieneBacteria can live in your mouth in the form of plaque, causing cavities and gingivitis, which can lead to periodontal (gum) disease. In order to keep your mouth clean, you must practice good  oral hygiene every day.

 

What is plaque?

Plaque is a sticky layer of material containing bacteria that accumulates on teeth, including where toothbrushes can’t reach. Many of the foods you eat cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids. Sugary foods are obvious sources of plaque, but there are others that you might not realize can cause harm. Starches—such as bread, crackers, and cereal—also cause acids to form. Plaque also produces substances that irritate the gums, making them red, sensitive, and susceptible to bleeding. This can lead to gum disease, in which gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that fill with bacteria and pus. If the gums are not treated, the bone around the teeth can be destroyed and teeth may become loose or have to be removed.

 

How can I get rid of plaque?

The best way to remove plaque is by brushing and cleaning between your teeth every day.  Brushing removes plaque from the tooth surfaces. Brush your teeth twice per day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your toothbrush should fit your mouth and allow you to reach all areas easily. Use an antimicrobial toothpaste containing fluoride, which helps protect your teeth from decay. Clean between the teeth once a day with floss or interdental cleaners to remove plaque from between the teeth, where the toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing is essential to prevent gum disease.

 

How do I brush and floss my teeth?

The American Dental Association recommends the following techniques for brushing and flossing your teeth:

 

Brushing

• Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums.

• Move the brush back and forth gently in short (tooth-wide) strokes.

• Brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

• Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, using a gentle up-and-down stroke.

• Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

 

Flossing

• Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind it around the middle fingers of each hand. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.

• Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion.

• When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.

• Bring the floss back toward the contact point between the teeth and move the floss up or down the other side, conforming the floss to the shape of the tooth.

• Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up-and-down motions.

• Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth.

 

Is there anything else I can use to clean my mouth?

A mouth rinse, in addition to daily brushing and flossing, can increase the cleanliness of your mouth. Antimicrobial mouth rinses reduce bacteria and plaque activity, which cause gingivitis and gum disease. Fluoride mouth rinses also help reduce and prevent tooth decay. Always talk to your dentist about any new products you are interested in trying. Not everyone should use a fluoride mouth rinse. For instance, fluoride rinses are not recommended for children ages 6 or younger because they may swallow them. Always check the manufacturer’s label for precautions and age recommendations  and talk with your dentist about the use of fluoride mouth rinse.

 

Habits That Destroy Your Smile

1. Not flossing
Brushing your teeth twice a day is important, but many patients don’t realize that flossing at least once a day is just as critical to achieving—and maintaining—a healthy smile. Flossing removes the cavity-causing bacteria left behind from food particles that get stuck between teeth. “Although bleeding and irritation sometimes can occur when you first start flossing, it’s important to keep at it,” says Dr. Ghareeb. “Your gums will toughen up and your oral health will be better for it.”

 

2. Brushing too soon after eating

Consuming acidic foods and beverages, such as sports and energy drinks, citrus fruits, wine, and tomatoes, can erode tooth enamel—the glossy outer layer of the tooth. Brushing your teeth too soon after eating and drinking these items can cause more damage because you are essentially brushing the acid into the teeth, not getting rid of it. Instead, you should rinse your mouth with water after consuming acidic foods and beverages and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your pearly whites!

 

3. Not replacing your toothbrush often enough

Not only are old toothbrushes ineffective, but they also harbor harmful bacteria that can cause infections. Toothbrushes should be changed every three to four months. “It’s also important to change your toothbrush after you’ve had a cold,” says Dr. Ghareeb.

 

4. Excessively bleaching your teeth
Overzealous bleaching can cause your teeth to look unnaturally white and increase tooth sensitivity. Before using an at-home bleaching product, talk to your dentist. “He or she can advise you on proper use of these products as well as which type of bleaching system will provide you with the best results,” says Dr. Ghareeb.

 

5. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush

A hard-bristled toothbrush coupled with an aggressive brushing technique can cause irreversible damage to your gums. Use a soft toothbrush and gently brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle, in a circular motion. Using a back-and-forth, sawing motion causes the gums to recede, and can expose the root of the tooth, making teeth extremely sensitive.