Oral Health and Dental Care
Dental care is integral part of general health, and good oral health gives the sense of overall well-being. Tooth decay is the most common health problem in many countries, and it shows the poor emphasis on the dental care by the general public. Unbalanced diet, poor brushing habits and negligence to daily oral care leads to various dental problems calling for dental treatments, which can be time consuming, expensive, painful and complex. Most of the dental problems can be avoided by paying attention to the daily oral hygiene.
Important Dental Care Tips
It is advisable to use the soft bristled brush with synthetic rounded bristles. When buying a brush, look for the seal of approval from American Dental Association. The toothbrush must be replaced every 2-3 months, or when the bristles are bent or worn. For good dental care, replace your toothbrush after you have suffered from cold.
Proper brushing technique is important for dental care, and brush outside, inside and inside surface of lower and upper jaws. Brush your tongue to freshen up your breath as bacteria and debris on the tongue cause bad breath.
The ideal dental care involves brushing the teeth at least once everyday, preferably at bed time. Brushing after the breakfast helps in thorough removal of plague daily. To clean each tooth properly, change the position of the brush after few strokes. Good dental care does not require too much of paste, and pea-sized fluoridated toothpaste is sufficient. It is essential to avoid brushing teeth too vigorously as it can wear down the tooth structure. It can also cause the gums to recede, exposing the root surface.
For good dental care, good flossing techniques must be used. But, many people do not enjoy flossing, as they are not aware of the proper technique, and hence hurt the soft tissues of the mouth during the attempt. A safe and effective alternative to flossing includes use of brush picks, floss picks, tooth picks and special plague removers.
Some dental specialists and dentists advise using the plague removers instead of regular flossing for dental care. The picks can reach the nooks of the mouth that are left unavailable for floss and toothbrush. Toothpicks are great for dental care, but they are not able to reach all the desired places such as behind the last wisdom tooth.
For good dental care, you can also make the toothpaste at home by mixing baking soda, salt, glycerin and peppermint. But, never swallow the toothpaste, as it may cause the fluoride toxicity. Brush mildly for 2-3 minutes as brushing vigorously for longer time does more harm than good.
Many studies have indicated a strong correlation between oral health and general health. Not paying attention to the dental care can lead to many health problems such as osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and pregnancy problems. The bacteria causing the periodontal infection can enter the blood stream carrying the infection to many major body organs, leading to various health problems. Consider a periodontal evaluation if you have diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, respiratory disease or if planning to conceive a baby.
As a good dental care program, smoking must be avoided as it can cause tooth discoloration, bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. Some of the other ill-effects of smoking include mouth bores, hairy tongue, shifting teeth, delayed wound healing, altered sense of smell and taste and jaw bone loss.
For good dental care, mouthwashes such as Chorohexidine or Listernine have effective antiseptic properties that kill the bacterial plague. It is also important to maintain a well-balanced diet, and minimize the consumption of sugary and starchy foods that are known to cause tooth decay. To maintain proper dental care, avoid eating between meals as it makes teeth more prone to decay.
It also helps to visit your dentist once in 3-4 months so that any oral concern can be diagnosed early. There are no symptoms associated with most of oral health problems till the disease has progressed to the advanced stage.
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