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The Importance of Oral Hygiene
Published: 21st July, 2021 in: Health Advice
Why is Oral Hygiene so Crucial?
Prevents Tooth Loss
Tooth loss is the most common dental problem for children and adults. One of the many reasons for tooth loss is due to poor dental hygiene. Plaque buildup caused by poor oral hygiene may result in severe tooth decay or gum infection which, in turn, may cause tooth loss.
Oral Hygiene Affects Your Overall Health
You may think that keeping your mouth clean only helps your oral health, but it actually does more than that.
Since your mouth acts as a door to the body, it actually serves as a vantage point for detecting early symptoms of systemic diseases. Systemic diseases such as diabetes often begin as a mouth lesion or other dental problem, such as gum infection.
Research shows that patients with gum disease might actually be at a greater risk of having heart disease. This is due to the fact that gum disease increases the body’s burden of inflammation. Chronic inflammation may also affect many parts of the body, including the arteries.
Aside from diabetes and cardiovascular conditions, here are other health complications caused by poor oral hygiene:
- Bacterial Pneumonia
- Infective Endocarditis
- Pregnancy Complications
- Low Birth Weight
Keeping your teeth and mouth clean can therefore help to prevent the risks of health complications.
To Have A Whiter and Brighter Smile
If you want your teeth to look their best and be white and bright, it means maintaining daily dental care. You can use whitening toothpaste such as Macleans Whitening Toothpaste to help bring your smile to life!
Ways to Improve Oral Hygiene
Regular Check-ups at the Dentist
It is best to schedule regular dental checkups to ensure good oral health and hygiene. A check-up allows your dentist to see if you have any dental problems and helps you keep your mouth healthy.
Leaving problems untreated could make them more difficult to treat in the future, so it's best to deal with problems early, or if possible prevent them altogether. The NHS recommends that you have a check-up every 3 months to 2 years, (depending on how healthy your teeth and gums are and your risk of future problems).
At each check-up, your dentist should:
- Examine your teeth, gums and mouth
- Ask about your general health and any problems you've had with your teeth, mouth or gums since your last visit
- Ask about, and give you advice on, your diet, smoking and alcohol use, and teeth-cleaning habits
- Discuss a date for your next visit
Brush your teeth twice a day
Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste ensures your teeth are protected. You should brush twice a day for about 2 minutes to help keep your teeth and mouth healthy.
Brushing your teeth prevents plaque building up, which is a film of bacteria that coats your teeth if you avoid brushing. Plaques contribute to gum disease and tooth decay.
It's important to use a toothpaste with the right concentration of fluoride, so you should check the packaging to find out how much fluoride each brand contains.
Adults are recommended to use a toothpaste that contains at least 1,350 parts per million (ppm) fluoride. Use Corsodyl Daily Original Toothpaste for plaque removal and protection of healthy gums, containing 1400ppm Fluoride.
After brushing, you should spit out any excess toothpaste, but do not rinse your mouth immediately after brushing, as it'll wash away the concentrated fluoride in the remaining toothpaste. This will dilute and reduce its preventative effects.
It is also recommended that you floss every day to remove food, debris and plaque lodged between your teeth. Regular flossing may also reduce gum disease and bad breath by removing plaque that forms along the gum line.
How to Use Dental Floss
Dental floss is a thin, soft thread. If you find floss hard to use, you can try dental tape, which is thicker. Remember to not be too aggressive with the floss as you may be at risk of harming your gums.
The main action of flossing is a firm but gentle scraping of the tooth from the top down.
- Break off about 45cm of floss and wind some around 1 finger of each hand.
- Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, with about 2.5cm of floss between them, leaving no slack.
- Use a gentle "rocking" motion to guide the floss between your teeth. Do not snap the floss into the gums.
Read more about why it's important to floss on our healthy living and conditions page.
Overall, taking care of your teeth everyday is essential to maintain a healthy mouth and prevent both oral and general health problems.