To maintain good oral hygiene is to keep one’s mouth free of diseases and other problems by cleansing the oral cavity thoroughly. It is done by regularly brushing the teeth and cleaning between them with floss, interdental brush, etc. Good oral hygiene also prevents the problem of bad breath.
The diseases caused due to poor orodental hygiene are:
1. Tooth decay (cavities, dental caries)
The softening of the tooth enamel is known as tooth decay. It is caused by the acids produced by the bacteria in the plaque by breakdown of sugars. If the decay is not treated, a hole is created in the tooth and a cavity is formed which gradually destroys the whole tooth. The cavity causes symptoms like pain, increased sensitivity and pus around the tooth.
2. Gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums around the base of the tooth due to the bacteria in the plaque. The inflammation causes redness, swelling, and irritation. If left untreated, gingivitis leads to periodontitis and tooth loss. The gums become red, tender and puffy, and bleed easily while brushing.
Poor oral hygiene is also associated with systemic diseases like bacterial pneumonia, infective endocarditis, osteoporosis etc.
Practices to maintain good oral hygiene
Tooth brushing :
Brushing removes dental plaque. The teeth should be brushed for 2 minutes at least, twice a day. Brushing in circular motion is more effective. The tooth paste must contain fluoride. The fluoride prevents against caries by remineralizing the affected enamel.
Floss is a thread of thin and multiple filaments used to remove plaque and food particles from the areas where the toothbrush cannot reach. It is recommended to floss once every day before or after brushing so that the fluoride can reach the occlusal surface of the teeth. Floss can be waxed or unwaxed and there are various techniques of flossing.
Tongue scraper :
These are used to remove the debris from the surface of tongue which contains numerous bacteria. These bacteria cause bad breath. The middle portions as well as sides of the tongue are cleaned.
Beneficial foods which contain vitamin C like citrus fruits, strawberry, papaya etc are important for healthy gums. Deficiency of vitamin C causes scurvy. Fluoridated water, milk and cheese which are rich in calcium and phosphate encourage remineralization. Harmful foods like sugars, vinegar, soft drinks should be avoided.
Mouthwashes are liquids which are held in mouth or moved inside the mouth with the help of perioral muscles. These are usually antiseptic solutions which decrease the microbial load in the mouth and also to control bad breath. Around 20-50 ml of mouthwash is used for about half a minute and then spat out. The commonly used kinds of mouthwashes are –SALINE – usually warm salty water is used. Essential oils like eucalyptol, menthol, thymol and methyl salicylate are used in Listerine. Chlorhexidine is an antiseptic but it should not be used for a long time as it causes brown staining of teeth and tongue.
We, at LaCanne Family Dental, Menominee, provide for all your needs pertaining to dental services and routine exams. Our dentists with their entire team persist to present you with exceptional treatment that enhances and maintains the beauty of your smile.
If you have any further question, queries or dental emergencies and are looking for an accomplished dentist, feel free to contact us at (906) 352-4100 to schedule an appointment.