Smile is the most likely the first thing that anyone would notice about you. Healthy teeth are not only important for looking good but also for your overall oral health. It can affect your ability to taste and eat, to smell, and to communicate with others. We have answered some of the frequently asked question for you to know what you should do to take care of your teeth at home.
We believe good dental care is an important aspect of oral health. With a proper dental care routine anyone can have healthy teeth and gums, we have few recommendations that you can do at home. Also read up on signs and symptoms that you should not ignore. Good oral and dental care counts and you can easily take charge of your dental care today!
Your smile depends on simple dental care habits, such as brushing and flossing and we have compiled a list of easy to follow steps to protect your oral health.
Oral health begins with clean teeth. Keeping the area where your teeth meet your gums clean can prevent gum disease, while keeping your tooth surfaces clean can help you stave off cavities.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Use the proper equipment – You can use any fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. You could also consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush.
- Practice good technique – Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle — aiming the bristles toward the area where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with short back-and-forth circular motions. Remember to brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue.
- Keep your equipment clean – Always rinse your toothbrush with water after brushing.
- Know when to replace your toothbrush – Invest in a new toothbrush or a replacement head for your electric or battery-operated toothbrush every three to four months — or sooner if the bristles look worn-out.
2. Flossing for oral health
You can’t reach the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gumline with a toothbrush. That’s why daily flossing is important. When you floss:
Grip the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers. Gently guide the floss between your teeth using a rubbing motion. Be careful not to snap the floss into your gums. When the floss reaches your gumline, curve it against one tooth. Use the floss to gently rub the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion. Unwind fresh floss as you progress to the rest of your teeth.
If you find it hard to handle floss, you can use an interdental cleaner. Some studies have shown that flossing before brushing might allow more fluoride from your toothpaste to reach between your teeth.
3. Other oral health care tips
In addition to daily brushing and flossing, you could also consider using an antimicrobial mouthwash.
To remove food particles from your teeth that aren’t dislodged by flossing or brushing, you might try an oral irrigator — a device that aims a stream of water at your teeth. Resist the temptation to use toothpicks or other objects that could injure your gums. Keep in mind, however, that an oral irrigator doesn’t replace daily brushing and flossing, since it doesn’t remove plaque.
If you suffer from chronic, severe bad breath, also known as halitosis, it’s important to identify the cause so you can determine an effective treatment.
Halitosis has many causes, including the following:
- If you smoke, quit. Your bad breath may be due to other causes, too, but tobacco use is a guarantee of bad breath. If you are ready to quit, ask your doctor or dentist for advice and support.
- What you eat, or don’t eat. Certain foods, such as garlic, contribute to bad breath, but only temporarily. Once they are absorbed into the bloodstream, the smell is expelled through the breath, but the odors remain until the body processes the food, so there’s no quick fix.
- If your mouth is extremely dry, there is not enough saliva to wash away excess food particles and bacteria, which can cause an unpleasant smell if they build up on the teeth.
- Bad breath that seems to have no other cause may indicate an infection elsewhere in the body. If you have chronic bad breath and your dentist rules out any oral problems, see your doctor for an evaluation. Bad breath can be a sign of a range of conditions including respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis or bronchitis, diabetes, or liver and kidney problems, so it’s important not to ignore the problem.
The best way to improve bad breath is to follow a thorough oral care routine including twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing to remove the food particles and bacteria that can cause bad breath. Mouthwashes only improve bad breath for the short term, and if you have a chronic problem, your dentist may suggest an antimicrobial rinse to help keep bacteria at bay.
If you suffer from bleeding gums and your dentist rules out poor dental hygiene, reassess your diet. Be sure to consume plenty of foods rich in vitamin C. They aren’t hard to find. Oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, and red peppers are especially high in vitamin C. Try to get your vitamin C from actual fruits and vegetables, instead of fruit and vegetable juices. Besides being high in sugar, most fruit juices are quite acidic, and they can promote erosion of the tooth enamel. Fruit juices are fine in small amounts, but drink them with meals, or use a straw if possible to minimize the juice’s contact with your teeth.
Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means that the body doesn’t store it long-term and you need to consume it every day. Multivitamins or vitamin C supplements can help you get enough, especially if you are ill or following a restricted diet and you have problems eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Many multi-vitamin formulas contain vitamin C, or you can find it an individual supplement. The Institute of Medicine recommends 90 milligrams per day for men older than 18 years and 75 milligrams per day for women older than 18 years
- Red, tender or swollen gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Gums that begin pulling away from your teeth
- Loose permanent teeth
- Changes in the way your top and bottom teeth align with each other
- Unusual sensitivity to hot and cold
- Persistent bad breath or an unusual taste in your mouth
A general dentist focuses on taking care of your entire mouth, including cleaning teeth, preventing cavities, and evaluating your teeth and gums for signs of problems or infections. They can provide diagnostic procedures such as x-rays that are needed in preparation for specialised care such as orthodontics, dental implants, or surgery to remove impacted wisdom teeth.
- Trained to perform routine procedures such as filling cavities and tooth cleaning or scaling.
- Serves as a troubleshooter trained to identify early signs of gum disease, oral cancer, or Temporomandibular joint and muscle (TMJ) disorders.
- Can coordinate your care with specialists, such as orthodontists if you need braces or Endodontists if you need a root canal.
- In addition, general dentists can provide many cosmetic procedures such as tooth-whitening, dental veneers, and dental bonding.