People have been trained all their lives about oral hygiene. The benefits of having a routine keep the teeth and gums healthy. Oral hygiene doesn’t not only prevent diseases. It also accents the appearance and boosts confidence. The practice of brushing, flossing, and gargling are all part of a good routine.
Dentists are also important when it comes to oral maintenance. But by simple observations, a person can determine if he has healthy and clean teeth. Here are some signs to look out for:
- The gums should be pink, they do not get sore or bleed when doing routine brushing and flossing.
- Run the tongue against the teeth. The feeling should be clean and smooth and not fussy.
- There is no constant halitosis or bad breath
There are many factors involved which will lead to an effective oral hygiene routine. Keeping the teeth, tongue, and mouth clean is beneficial, especially in the long run.
The Benefits of Following a Regular Oral Health Care Routine
Proper oral hygiene does have a significant influence on a person’s mental health. It also affects a person’s confidence and overall health. To prove this, just look in the mirror and smile. If those pearly white teeth cannot have an impact on a person or those around him, then he’s missing the point.
Have you heard the phrase “brushing your brain”? This is a behavioral way of giving yourself the liberty to contemplate and experience life. This attitude is useful for many things. These include improving the strength of immunity to better focus on thelongevity of cell life. It has also been recommended in treating many types of mental illnesses. Scientific research has also shown that mindfulness is very effective for daily stress reduction. Such technique can apply to everyone.
What is then the relevance of brushing teeth with mindfulness? A person can look at oral health as a tool for mindfulness, doubling as “brushing your brain.” Treat brushing teeth as a form of meditation. It calms the mind and prepares it for the day’s activities. Or if for night brushing, to relax the mind for the night’s sleep.
Mindfulness does involve some meditation. When applying this to the routine, concentrate on breathing and feel the whole experience. Taste the flavor of the toothpaste, feel the bristles move over the gums and teeth, relax the jaw, and neck muscles. This way, brushing one’s teeth will not just be an oral hygiene exercise but a mental exercise as well.
Brushing is also important for beauty. Who couldn’t appreciate the beauty of a smile with pearly white teeth and healthy pink gums? Truly, having beautiful, white and straight teeth is an asset. Without sounding discriminatory, people with beautiful teeth are more likely to be successful and dependable than those with yellow and crooked ones. Healthy teeth develop more self-esteem and confidence.
Dentists recommend brushing teeth at least twice a day in the oral hygiene routine. Once in the morning then after dinner. The habit is the surest way to prevent tooth discoloration and decay. It also not just a healthy practice but a beauty practice as well.
Oral health promotes total health. Anyone, at one time, had to deal with a toothache. The pain affects many other body functions. Aside from a toothache itself, a person can develop fever, lose his appetite, and have a headache. The human body is a complicatedsystem, and its parts cannot operate independently. Oral health, digestive health, nervous system health, all are linked together. Take the case of gum disease. This has been connected to anincreased rate of cancer and a heightened danger of heart disease.
Following the routine of brushing and flossing can help avoid gum disease. This makes brushing a benefit to both oral health and overall health as well. With healthy gums, the risk of other diseases by association is also reduced. Here are some steps to follow:
Brush your teeth. Brushing the teeth is the very first step in a good oral hygiene routine. Make sure to brush all surfaces, the insides, the outsides and the chewing sides. The inside surfaces of the front teeth are cleaned by tilting the brush vertically. Then make several up and down strokes. Consider the following when brushing your teeth:
- Brush teeth for at least two minutes, thirty seconds for each quadrant.
- Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and point it to the gums.
- Brush teeth twice daily using a toothbrush with soft bristles. Hard ones can hurt the gums and may damage teeth surfaces. Use the right size and shape of thetoothbrush to fit the mouth and allow reaching all areas easily.
- Replace the toothbrush every three or four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush will not completely do its job.
Floss in between your teeth. Floss teeth at least once a day. Proper flossing rids teeth of plaque and food bits in places where the toothbrush cannot reach. This is usually under the gum line and between teeth. Daily flossing is required in a great oral routine. The accumulation of plaque can cause tooth decay or gum disease. Here are steps in proper flossing for maximum benefits:
- Use about 18-inches of floss. Wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two to floss with.
- Hold the floss tautly between the index fingers and thumbs. Slide the floss gently with up-and-down between the teeth.
- Slowly curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure to go beneath the gum line. NEVER snap or force the floss. This may cut or bruise the delicate gum
- Adjust the floss, making sure clean floss sections are used for the next
- To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth.
There are a variety of flosses available which will suit a person’s taste and needs. Flosses are made of many strands of nylon and are either waxed or unwaxed. They come in different flavors too. Although strong, the floss can sometimes tear or shred. Especially between teeth with tight contact points. For the best flosses, choose those with single filaments floss. These can easily slide between teeth even those that are tightly spaced. Both types of floss will effectively remove plaque and food debris.
Rinse the mouth using mouthwash. After brushing and flossing, rinse the mouth using mouthwash. This should be part of the routine of oral hygiene. Mouthwash is effective in killing germs that can cause tooth decay and bad breath. It’s quite easy to use mouthwash:
- Sip some mouthwash then swish it around the mouth for about 30-45 seconds.
- Gargle it to disinfect the inner mouth.
- Spit out the mouthwash.
Remember that mouthwash has its advantages. It can relieve bad breath and will kill unwanted bacteria in the mouth. It’s an additional cleaning method, but it is not an alternative to brushing and flossing.
During sleep, bacteria does its worst damage to teeth and gums. The best time to use mouthwash, therefore, is before bedtime. Some products may have detailed instructions on how their mouthwash should be applied. But generally, the steps are similar. It’s just sipping, swish and spit.
Mouthwash has many purposes. It moisturizes the mouth, kills additional bacteria, and it freshens the breath. The practice should not only include brushing teeth only but the tongue as well.
Clean your tongue too. As part of oral hygiene, the tongue should also undergo a cleaning process. Many are unaware of this, but the method is easy. After brushing the teeth, put some more toothpaste on the brush and clean the tongue. Reach as far in without gagging. This will get rid of the gunk on the tongue’s surface that can cause bad breath.
The tongue can also be cleaned with floss or a tongue scraper. When using floss, just take a string of it, wrap each end around a finger. With a tongue scraper, hold each end of the scraper in each hand. Just gently slide the center (floss or scraper), clean the tongue by scraping. Finish by rinsing your mouth with water or better still, with some mouthwash.
Always keep in mind the importance of cleaning the tongue. It should be part of the oral hygiene routine. It only takes a few seconds right after brushing. To make it more convenient, get a toothbrush with a built-in tongue scraper.
Not surprisingly, the tongue can also be home to multitudes of bacteria. Its surface is lined with a thin layer of mucus. This traps food particles and can consequently be a breeding ground for germs. Rid of these unwanted “guest” by brushing, flossing or scraping.
Concentrate scraping on the center of the tongue. This is where the bulk of the odor-causing bacteria lie. If the tongue should feel sore or may start to bleed, lessen the pressure on the scraper. Work the scraper slowly and gently with light pressure. Make tongue cleaning a part of the dental hygiene routine. Twice a day should be sufficient, in the morning and before bedtime.
Helpful Tips for Oral Care
Oral health is indeed important as it has a direct relation with the rest of the body. Many diseases, like gum disease and tooth decay, can be attributed to poor oral health. But, it can also cause other systemic issues like heart diseases and cancer.
To avoid any diseases associated with poor oral health, organize a daily routine. Establishing a great routine would maintain a person’s good oral hygiene. A dentist or an oral hygienist can assist a person in coming up with a routine that works. By this time, you should be familiar with the basics. It’s just a matter of applying them to the routine.
The routine should be consistent. Strictly comply with rules of the routine. Not brushing for three days, then brushing for 30 minutes on the fourth is not acceptable. Be consistent with the oral hygiene routine. Brushing, flossing, mouthwash rinsing, and tongue-cleaning procedures should all be done regularly. Also, they must be done correctly for them to be effective.
Be sure to use the right toothbrush. Choose a toothbrush with soft and even bristles to avoid injuring the gums and teeth. Apply gentle circular motions on the surfaces. When the brush’s bristles begin to fray, replace the toothbrush. Using an electric toothbrush is highly recommended because of its swirling cleaning movements.
Make use of fluoride products. The presence of fluoride in oral hygiene products is very highly recommended. This is because of the benefits it offers. This element has been proven to strengthen developing teeth, especially in children. In adults and kids, fluoride prevents tooth decay. Fluoride is also now found in mouthwashes. Even dentists can prescribe a more powerful concentration of fluoride in oral products if required. Such prescriptions will have more fluoride. These products offer better protection against cavities than products purchased over-the-counter.
Limit consumption of unhealthy snacks. Especially those with high simple sugars. Also, make sure to eat a balanced and healthy diet. Oral health should also involve the food intake. Watch what you eat. It is inevitable that food bits get trapped in and around the teeth when a person eats. Such bits will provide the bacteria found in plaque, the fuel it needs to produce acids. The worse foods that will induce bacteria to produce these acids are sugars and starches. Without the proper oral hygiene routine, the acids will eventually break down the teeth’s enamel. If not checked, this leads to cavities. This situation can be avoided by brushing teeth after eating sugary snacks. There are also sugarless chewing gums available. These contain xylitol, a substance that can help lower the bacteria which causes tooth decay. So, choose foods that contain vitamins and minerals necessary for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums.
The dentist is also an essential part of the routine. Make regular visits to your tooth doctor as a preventive cure for potential problems. Regular cleaning will rid your teeth of plaque and the formation of cavities. If you needed some cosmetic procedures, the dentist would advise you on such. For people with certain diseases like diabetes or those who smoke, more frequent visits are recommended. Also note that those who have suppressed immune systems, tend to develop more dental issues.
Be sure to examine the mouth regularly. The best person in a position to know if you are having dental problems is yourself. Make a habit of checking the mouth regularly. Doing this daily is best. Check for the presence of sores, cavities or any other significant changes that might be cause for concerns. Dentists, you see maybe three times a year, at the most. But a person sees himself in the mirror almost everyday. A few-second check wouldn’t hurt. Changes that may need a dentist’s service may include: swollen or bleeding gums, chipped or discolored teeth, lesions on the cheeks, tongue or gums.
For smokers, more frequent dental visits are recommended. This is because they have a higher danger of developing cancer. Through experience, dentists and dental hygienists usually can pinpoint the most likely areas in your mouth where a spot, a sore, a lump or a patch can appear.