Good oral hygiene is necessary to keep teeth and gums healthy. It involves habits such as brushing twice a day and having regular dental checkups.
However, oral health is about more than cavities and gum disease. Research has shown that there is an association between the health of a person’s mouth and their overall health. Experts consider oral health problems to be a global health burden.
Without treatment, tooth decay or gum problems can lead to pain, problems with self-confidence, and tooth loss. These issues may lead to malnutrition, speech problems, and other challenges in a person’s work, school, or personal life.
People can prevent these problems with proper dental care, both at home and in the dentist’s office. The following are some best practices that can keep teeth and gums healthy.
1. Brush regularly but not aggressively
Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss for healthy gums and teeth
Brushing twice a day and using dental floss can help keep teeth and gums healthy.
Most people are aware that brushing their teeth twice a day is one of the most important practices for removing plaque and bacteria and keeping teeth clean. However, brushing may only be effective if people use the correct technique.
People should brush using small circular motions, taking care to brush the front, back, and top of every tooth. This process takes between 2 and 3 minutes. People should avoid sawing back-and-forth motions.
Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can damage tooth enamel and the gums. The effects of this may include tooth sensitivity, permanent damage to the protective enamel on the teeth, and gum erosion.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommend using a toothbrush that has soft bristles. They also state that people should change their toothbrush every 3 months or when the ends start to look frayed, whichever comes first.
2. Use fluoride
Fluoride comes from an element in the earth’s soil called fluorine. Many experts believe that fluoride helps prevent cavities, and it is a common ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash.
e all want to have healthy teeth, fresh breath and nice smiles. Gum disease and tooth decay are the two most common oral diseases worldwide. Recent studies have identified links between gum disease and general health such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease and so it has never been more important to look after your teeth. Effective daily oral hygiene is an essential part of your general health and well-being.
Recommended Toothbrushing Technique
A gentle scrub technique with very short horizontal movements to dislodge plaque at the gum margins is effective for most people and is easy to teach and readily accepted. Thus, careful use of a gentle scrub method using a toothbrush with densely packed, round-ended synthetic filaments of soft to medium texture should be encouraged for effective plaque removal. A toothbrush with a small brush head may also be recommended, as a small brush head enables better access to the back of the mouth and to tooth surfaces than a large brush head. While a variety of powered toothbrushes have become increasingly available, only powered toothbrushes with a rotation oscillation action (i.e., brush head moves in one direction and then the other) have been found to be better than manual toothbrushes at removing plaque and reducing gum inflammation, and are no more likely to cause injuries to gums.
Faulty toothbrushing techniques involving excessive pressure may considerably increase gingival recession (i.e., the gum line recedes leading to exposure of the roots of the teeth), and loss of tooth substance by mechanical abrasion, and must therefore be corrected. Holding the toothbrush in a pen grip using just the thumb and forefinger, as opposed to resting the toothbrush in the palm of the hand and gripping with four fingers, results in less pressure being applied when toothbrushing and is recommended.
Effective Toothbrushing Routine
- A gentle scrub technique involving very short horizontal movements is recommended
- Use a soft to medium textured toothbrush
- Hold toothbrush in a pen grip to avoid using excessive pressure
- Spit out fluoride toothpaste and do not rinse after brushing
- Twice a day – at bedtime and in the morning (or at one other time during the day)