How to maintain teeth and gums in good condition
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums requires practising good oral hygiene. It entails routines like brushing twice-daily and regular dental exams.
But oral health is more than just preventing cavities and gum disease. The condition of a person’s mouth and overall health have been linked, according to research. Oral health issues are viewed by experts as a global health burden.
Without treatment, gum disease or dental decay can cause pain, issues with confidence, and tooth loss. Malnutrition, speech disorders, and other difficulties in a person’s job, academic career, or personal life could result from these concerns.
With regular dental care, both at home and in the dentist’s office, people can avoid these issues. The following are some top techniques for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
1. Brush Consistently, yet gently
The majority of people are aware that one of the most crucial habits for removing plaque and bacteria and maintaining clean teeth is brushing twice a day. However, brushing might only be efficient if people employ the right method.
Brushing should be done in small, circular motions with attention paid to the front, back, and top of each tooth. It takes two to three minutes to complete this. Avoid using back-and-forth sawing motions.
Too-vigorous brushing or using a toothbrush with a rough bristle might harm the gums and tooth enamel. Gum erosion, tooth discomfort, and irreversible damage to the protective enamel on teeth are possible side effects.
Using a toothbrush with soft bristles is advised by the American Dental Association (ADA). Additionally, they recommend changing your toothbrush every three months or, whichever comes first, when the ends begin to fray.
2. Use Fluoride
Fluorine, a substance found in soil, is the source of fluoride. Fluoride is a frequently found element in toothpaste and mouthwash because many experts think it helps prevent cavities.
However, some people may not use fluoride at all, and some dental products do not include it.
Even if a person takes good care of their teeth generally, evidence suggests that a lack of fluoride can cause tooth decay. According to a new study, if fluoride is not used, brushing and flossing do not shield a person from developing cavities.
In many American localities, fluoride has been added to the water supply. The World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the ADA are a few organisations that endorse this procedure.
By getting in touch with their local authorities, people can learn whether the water in their area contains fluoride. People that utilise well water will need to check the fluoride levels in this water to determine how much is present as reverse osmosis water filters eliminate fluoride. Many brands of bottled water don’t have fluoride in them.
3. Floss every day
Plaque and bacteria between teeth, where a toothbrush can’t get to them, can be removed using flossing. By clearing away debris and food that has become stuck between the teeth, it can also help avoid foul breath.
The ADA still advises flossing despite the absence of extensive research to support its benefits. Additionally, the CDC advises people to floss their teeth.
The majority of dental specialists advise carefully guiding the floss all the way to the gumline before embracing the tooth’s side with up-and-down motions. It’s vital to avoid snapping the floss up and down between the teeth, as this can hurt and can lessen how well it removes plaque.
4. Visit the dentist regularly
Before they worsen, a dentist can identify and treat oral health problems.
Every six months, people should have a checkup at the dentist, according to experts. A hygienist will clean the teeth and get rid of tartar and plaque during a standard dental checkup.
The dentist will look for visible indications of oral health problems such as mouth cancer, gum disease, cavities, and other conditions.
Additionally, they could occasionally use dental X-rays to look for cavities.
According to the findings of a recent study, children and teenagers should visit the dentist every six months to help avoid cavities. Adults who regularly practise good oral hygiene and have a low risk of oral health issues might be able to visit the dentist less frequently.
Depending on a person’s age, dental health generally, and medical history, the answer could change. Anyone who observes changes in their mouth, however, ought to see a dentist.
5. Quit smoking
Smoking weakens the immune system of the body, making it more challenging for the body to recover tissues, including those in the mouth.
The CDC lists smoking as a risk factor for gum disease, and the ADA cautions smokers that their body may heal slowly following dental work.
Smoking alters the way the mouth looks by causing the teeth and tongue to yellow and can make breath smell terrible.
6. Use a mouthwash
According to several researches, some mouthwashes are good for your teeth. For instance, a review discovered that mouthwash containing the antibacterial component chlorhexidine helped manage plaque and gingivitis. A meta-analysis found that certain essential oil-infused mouthwashes are also efficient.
To find out which mouthwash is appropriate for their specific requirements, people may choose to consult their dentist. While mouthwash cannot replace brushing and flossing, it can support these habits.
7. Avoid carbohydrates and foods high in sugar
Sugar consumption can cause cavities. Studies are emphasising the important part sugar plays in bad dental health results. Candy and pastries are typical offenders, but many processed meals also include added sugar.
The WHO advises consumers to keep their daily sugar intake around 10% of total calories. Reducing this to 5 percent, according to the authors of a systematic review, would further lessen the incidence of cavities and other oral issues.
Additionally, according to experts, starchy foods like crackers, bread, chips, and pasta might contribute to tooth decay. According to the ADA, these meals stay in the mouth for a long time and decompose into simple sugars, which acid-producing bacteria feed on. Tooth decay may result from this acid.
The ADA advises consuming lots of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables as well as dairy products without added sugar in place of starchy foods.
8. Choose water over sweetened beverages
The main source of added sugars is beverages with added sugar.
Drinking soda, juice, or other sugary beverages can increase your chance of developing cavities.
The ADA advises just consuming small amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages at mealtimes along with water or unsweetened tea.
Maintaining good dental hygiene from childhood through adulthood can aid in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. People can prevent cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems by brushing and flossing regularly, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and scheduling routine dental appointments. It might also be good for their general health.
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