On a scale of 10, how well do you think you know about your oral health? Are you sure your oral hygiene is 100% well? No one wants frequent trips to their dentist, it’s only reasonable we do all we can to prevent ourselves from taking those trips! Between work, family, and other daily responsibilities, we often let ourselves go for a few months in between cleans.
At first glance, your mouth seems like it is easy to keep clean, but in reality, it can be a high-maintenance system. If you have not been taking care of your mouth, the buildup of plaque and bacteria can cause long-term damage to your teeth and gums as well as lead to other oral diseases. Maintaining good oral health is more than just brushing teeth twice a day and flossing. It involves eating right, everyday habits, and more.
Before getting into it, we all have this question – I’ve been getting by just right till now, why bother making a change to how I maintain my oral hygiene? Well, there is very good quality evidence to show that most oral diseases are preventable- from tooth decay to gum disease; would you really want to lose teeth and only take liquids as a primary source of food? One wouldn’t choose that.
Did you know that almost 2,000 people die from mouth cancer a year? The number increased by a third last year in the last decade.
Here’s a quick summary of six essential tips to maintain good oral health.
- Give up breakfast in bed
- Brush right
- Floss / interdental cleaning once a day to keep the plaque away
- Invest in the right dental care
- Watch what you eat
- Tooth whitening
What are the bad habits that affect your oral hygiene?
We all have certain bad habits that need to be broken. they might not affect our oral health directly but can have long-term, indirect effects. Here are some bad oral habits that you should keep away from. If you have any of these, you might want to end them immediately as they lead to bad oral health.
- Eating ice
- Drinking coffee or red wine
- Brushing teeth too hard or rigorously
- Snacking between meals on sugary food and drink
- Inadequate brushing and not using interdental cleaning aids such as floss or interdental brushes.
- Rinsing after brushing
As the saying goes, it’s never too late. You can start taking good and the right oral care starting today. Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid short and long-term health problems, they come directly from a dentist !.
6 tips for a good oral health
- Give up the habit of Breakfast in Bed
Yes, you read it right. Having breakfast right after waking up is a bad habit. Brushing before eating breakfast with fluoride toothpaste helps to protect teeth against what you are going to eat. Brushing soon after breakfast when you’ve had something sweet or acidic may cause more damage. Always give a gap of thirty minutes if you’ve had something sweet and one hour after having something acidic before you brush your teeth.
- Brush right
There’s a technique to brush teeth. Most people brush rigorously thinking it would help not develop the oral cavity or clean the teeth. But that does more harm than good. Teeth have a protective enamel and brushing rigorously washes the enamel off thereby putting your teeth in more danger. Additionally, if you are a person with sensitive teeth, it might lead to irritation and bleeding gums.
For those of you who only have access to a manual toothbrush, the ideal way is by holding your brush at a 45-degree angle and making short, circular motions. Do not forget the back of your mouth as that’s where most plaque builds up. Our gums deserve cleaning too. Since they are sensitive, stroke them gently so that they do not hurt.
- Floss/ Interdental cleaning once and brush twice a day to keep the plaque away
The ideal time to brush is after waking up and before going to bed. Brushing before bed will help get rid of all the plaque that builds up during the day. This will help improve oral health and prevent oral diseases. Flossing or using interdental brushes also helps prevent gum diseases as it cleans out areas that your toothbrush generally cannot reach. Use the biggest size interdental brush that the gaps between your teeth would take (more than one size may be needed) and for tighter gaps use floss. Your hygienist/ dentist can advise you on the best sizes best suited to you.
- Invest in the right dental care
There is very good quality evidence to suggest electric toothbrushes clean better than manual ones. It’s ideal to get one with a small rounded head and a mains rechargeable battery/ base.
We even stress the importance of daily flossing/ interdental cleaning to children as young as 7-8. if they start young, the chances are they will keep up the good habits forever!
- Watch what you eat
The food you eat plays a more important role in your oral health than you’d think. Your mouth would start to show weakness if the food you eat isn’t nutritious enough. The gums start to feel sensitive, teeth start to ache, and soft tissues get affected.
One of the major things to keep in mind is to avoid acidic food and beverages. The acids and sugars present in the food can badly affect the tooth enamel and wear it off over time.
Given our current lifestyle, avoiding acidic and sugary foods altogether is difficult. Hence, limit your food intake to 3 to 4 times a day, this would make avoiding them easier.
Additionally, reduce sugary snacks and drinks in between your regular meals. This will not only help in regulating your blood sugars but will also help in regulating your appetite and improving energy levels.
Include plant-based foods, lean proteins, healthy fats, and nuts in your regular diet. Avoid processed foods, carbs, and refined foods. These mainly include white foods such as white bread, noodles, pasta, and so on.
Cut back on coffee and alcohol. You’d be doing yourself a big favour by doing this. If you are someone who has 4 coffees a day, bring it down to 2. Small changes lead to big developments.
- Tooth whitening
Who wouldn’t want to have shiny pearly teeth when they smile! Teeth whitening is a huge market in the UK as a lot of them indulge in products. However, it is thoroughly advisable to consult with your dentist before investing in any teeth whitening products. A definite recommendation is to avoid any non-registered professional trying to undertake illegal tooth whitening. Dentists make a thorough assessment of your situation before suggesting tooth whitening treatments. Sometimes, if the stains are superficial, you may benefit from just having them professionally cleaned and polished.
Why should you maintain good oral health?
At this point, it is needless to point out the downsides of having bad oral health. However, it is good to be aware of the oral diseases that occur.
For starters, you’ll be putting yourself at risk of oral cavities and might have to take frequent trips to get your root canal done. In worst cases, total tooth replacement might also be considered.
You might suffer from gingivitis which impairs your eating habits as it causes extreme pain.
Bad oral hygiene could also lead to other severe problems in the body such as oral cancer, kidney diseases, and heart diseases.
Preventive oral care is the best way to keep your mouth healthy. However, we all know that it’s not always possible to make it to the dentist every six months for a cleaning. Hence, following these tips will help prevent oral diseases to a great extent. It is difficult to form habits instantly, hence, taking it slow helps develop strong habits.
Oral Hygiene is a topic no one likes to talk about, and one that we all take for granted. Yet, it is one thing we all should take care of so that we can better take care of the rest of our bodies. Understand how to keep your teeth and gums healthy by working on incorporating a few good habits.
“Oral health is the mirror to your overall health”
It is advisable to get regular oral health checkups so that there are no hidden problems. Martock Dental offers a complete oral health check involving screening, diagnosis, and treatment plans. It can be hard to practice good oral hygiene. We hope this blog helps you find the tools you need to practice good oral hygiene. If you need any more information on how to take care of your teeth, please do not hesitate to contact us anytime. Write to us at [email protected]. Thank you for reading, we are always excited when one of our posts is able to provide useful information on a topic like this!