3 Essentials of Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gum at Home
The health of your mouth should be an integral part of your health routine. As important as exercise, it saves a lot of hassle.
As a start, you should visit a dentist or dental health professional every six months.
Very few people look forward to visiting their dentist. Many people even experience anxiety in the period leading up to their date. However, if your domestic oral care is good, you will need fewer visits to the dental clinic.
If you follow these easy recommendations, you will ensure having a clean healthy mouth:
1. Brush your teeth and tongue in the morning and at night
Everyone knows that we should brush our teeth, but despite our goodwill, many of us regularly make mistakes that are harmful to our oral health.
- Brushing your teeth too often
Contrary to what you may think, brushing your teeth too much can be as harmful as not brushing them enough!
While the enthusiasm for dental hygiene is commendable, it shouldn’t be overdone.
Brushing more than three times in 24 hours has the risk of damaging your gum, or even prematurely wearing out your tooth enamel.
- Not brushing as recommended is even more problematic
The most obvious result is bad breath that is unpleasant for the people around you.
Tooth decay is one of the most dangerous consequences of not brushing. Improper oral hygiene can lead to bleeding and infections which are signs of gingivitis and periodontitis.
These gum diseases have significant consequences on overall health in addition to being the main cause of tooth loss that requires dental implants.
- Not using the correct brushing techniques
The way you brush your teeth is essential. The direction, the movements, the intensity, the duration of the brushing, all these details are important.
If you brush too hard, you will experience symptoms like sore gums, bleeding, and enamel erosion.
On the contrary, if you brush too gently, you may not be reaping the benefits of a deep clean.
- Brushing teeth immediately after eating
Many people believe that you should brush your teeth immediately after a meal or snack. Yet, you risk doing more harm than good!
According to the most recent studies, it is better to wait half an hour after a meal before brushing your teeth.
Brushing promotes the penetration of acid into the enamel of the teeth. This is why it is best to wait until the saliva evacuates corrosive substances before cleaning your teeth.
A delay of 30 to 60 minutes is usually enough for the saliva to perform for this job.
- Keeping your brush for too long
We don’t always realize how much time has passed since our last toothbrush replacement. Remember that brushes lose their effectiveness over time. They become dull, become less effective, and may damage the gums more easily.
It is better to change your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, or as soon as you notice a significant change in the bristles.
2. Accompany your brushing with dental floss and antibacterial mouthwash
The toothbrush alone is not successful in removing all the dental plaque. Bristles and interdental brushes are an often overlooked essential supplement to the brush. They alone can remove the debris and bacteria lodged between the teeth.
You should floss or brush at least once a day, preferably before going to sleep.
At night, saliva is no longer a protection against bacteria. Thus, neglecting your dental hygiene before bedtime exposes you to tooth decay.
Scrubbing your tongue with your toothbrush or a specific scraper helps keep it healthy and clean.
Likewise, a gentle massage of the gum with a toothbrush eliminates the harmful bacteria.
You can also use mouthwash to keep your teeth, tongue, and gums clean. This habit will give you the bonus of fresh and clean breath!
For some, using mouthwash is more important than others. Those who should include mouthwash in their routine are:
- Children or adults with fixed braces.
- When there are anomalies in the development of enamel or incipient caries.
- People with sensitive teeth (with retracted gums).
- To prevent root caries.
Tips for the best results:
- Always follow the instructions for use and your dentist’s instructions.
- When using some mouthwashes, such as products that contain chlorhexidine, watch out to not use them for more than 1 to 2 weeks.
- Use the mouthwash once a day. Keep it for one minute in your mouth while circulating it well. Spit it out and never swallow it.
- Use mouthwash after brushing your teeth.
- Do not drink, eat or smoke within half an hour of using the mouthwash, as this decreases its effectiveness.
3. Use a toothpaste with a fluoride substance
Fluoride can harden tooth enamel. It makes it more resistant to acid attacks from bacteria that cause cavities.
It is incorporated into the chemical composition of the tooth and binds very strongly to other mineral components. And it will form a structure even harder than the original enamel. As a result, the acids produced by bacteria have a much harder time dissolving and demineralizing the enamel.
Tooth decay is a widespread disease that affects billions of people around the world. Dentists have been using fluoride to prevent tooth decay, using a variety of different means, including toothpaste, water, milk, mouthwashes, gels, and varnishes.
The typical concentration of fluoride in regular toothpaste is 1000 to 1500 parts per million (ppm), but there are other different concentrations.
There is no minimum concentration of fluoride, but the maximum allowable concentration for toothpaste varies by age and country.
Kinds of toothpaste with higher fluoride concentrations are rarely available over the counter and need a prescription.
A toothpaste with a high concentration of fluoride may offer better protection against cavities, but also increases the risk of fluorosis (enamel defects) in developing teeth.
All in all, your oral hygiene is related to your overall health. Neglecting it will lead you to roads you don’t want to hit.
And remember to always smile at life so that life smiles back at you.
Author: Dr. Nabil Mockbil from Swedish Dental Clinic – Dubai Marina