Healthy Teeth and Gums

Follow these 7 simple steps for Healthy Teeth and Gums

Research has shown that the health of a person’s mouth has a bearing on the overall physical health. Oral health encompasses a wider spectrum than tooth decay and gum disease. If left untreated, these conditions may lead to severe pain, tooth loss and are also associated with loss of confidence. These developments may also lead to speech issues, malnutrition; thereby leaving a potential impact on a person’s social, professional and personal life.

Oral hygiene is the precursor to good oral health. Following are 7 steps to care for your teeth and gums:

1. Using the right technique to brush.

brushing teethWe have all known that brushing twice a day is recommended to clear away the plaque and bacteria from the teeth. However, using the right technique is just as important.

Using a hard-bristled brush or brushing too hard may lead to gum erosion, permanent damage to the tooth enamel that protects the teeth.

Avoid brushing in back-and-forth motions. You need to brush in small circular motions instead – ensuring to cover the front, back and top/bottom of every tooth. This should take 2-3 minutes.

Ensure to change your toothbrush when the ends start looking frayed, or after every three months, whichever is earlier.

2. Choosing the right toothpaste

Retail shelves are lined with a wide variety of toothpastes, claiming to whiten teeth, ensure fresh breath. While you may choose the color and flavor of your choice, ensure that it contains fluoride – fluoride teams up with the constituents in your enamel to help prevent cavities.

3. Gentle Flossing

Even after brushing effectively, there are areas in the mouth beyond the reach of your toothbrush. Dental health organizations recommend flossing gently once a day to help remove bacteria and plaque from between the teeth – use up-and-down motions, hugging your teeth till you reach the gumline. Avoid sudden snapping of the floss up-and-down the teeth.

4. Using a mouthwash

mouthwashMouthwashes are known to be beneficial for oral health. There are two types of mouthwashes available over the counter – cosmetic and therapeutic. Therapeutic mouthwashes can help reduce the speed to tartar build up, remove plaque and food particles from the teeth. It is important not to use mouthwashes as a replacement for brushing or flossing though. Using a mouthwash is not recommended for kids below 6 years of age.

5. Quit Smoking

Smoking has strong links to the onset of gum disease. Smoking weakens the bodily immune system, making it difficult for the body to heal tissues, including those in the mouth. Further, it hampers the healing time after a dental procedure. Smoking also affects the appearance of the mouth – yellowing of the teeth, tongue and bad odor.

6. Ensure regular visits to the dentist

visits to the dentistDental experts recommend visiting a dentist at least once in every six months. The dentist will not only clean the teeth to remove plaque and hardened tartar, but also check for visual signs of gum disease, cavities, oral cancer or other oral health issues. Early detection is instrumental in avoiding more serious issues at a later stage.

7. Watch your diet

Limit your intake of sugary foods and starches. Numerous studies point to the impact that sugar plays in adverse dental outcomes. Sugar is a known cause of cavities.

Sugary drinks / sodas contribute to a huge proportion of the sugar intake for most individuals. It is recommended to instead drink water or unsweetened teas throughout the day.

Starchy foods are also known to break-down into simple sugars, on which bacteria feed. It is recommended to limit sugary and starchy foods which ensure a diet rich in fibrous fruits and vegetables, and dairy products (without added-sugars).

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