is the process of keeping your mouth, teeth, and gums clean as to avoid dental problems such as cavities, gingivitis, and gum diseases
. If you maintain good oral hygiene, your teeth are clean from debris and plague, and your gums do not bleed when brushing and flossing. The healthy gums are pink in color. People who maintain good oral hygiene have fresh breath, and visits to the dentistís office are not a painful experience.
Oral hygiene includes a number of practices. Tooth cleaning refers to the removal of bacterial plaque
and tartar from your teeth. It is performed in two ways, at-home and in-office, depending on the plaque accumulated.
Daily care includes proper and frequent rinsing, brushing, and flossing of the teeth. To prevent the accumulation of plaque on your teeth and the forming of tartar, you have to brush your teeth two or three times a day. Use two soft toothbrushes in turns and wash them with hot water and antibacterial soap after each use. Replace your toothbrushes every three months.
Rinsing is another vital element of maintaining good oral hygiene. You can use either a rinse containing fluoride or a home-made one. Using dental floss will help you remove the tiny pieces of food that remain between the teeth after meals.
Professional cleaning methods include tooth scaling, tooth polishing and debridement. Dentists usually recommend fluoride treatment right after professional cleaning has taken place. The latter should be carried out at least twice a year. The dentist is also the right person to ask about oral hygiene techniques.
Tongue cleaning is another essential element of your daily oral care. It removes decaying food particles, bacteria, fungi, etc. that cause tooth decay and bad breath
. Massaging the gums with toothbrush bristles, together with other tooth cleaning practices, are generally recommended as to keep your mouth in good condition.
Healthy diet is naturally very important. The World Dental Organization recommends a list of the best foods and drinks that help maintain good oral hygiene. According to the organization, drinking plenty of water is essential. It keeps you hydrated, cleans your teeth, tongue and gums, and helps produce saliva. Green tea reduces the accumulation of plaque and the development of cavities
and gum diseases. Milk and yogurt are good sources of calcium, the key element of teeth and bones. Cheese, on the other hand, is rich in calcium and phosphate, which protects the tooth enamel. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which is essential for the gum cells. Crunchy fruits and vegetables (for example, apples and carrots) clean the gums. Then, vegetables rich in vitamin A, such as carrots, pumpkins, and broccoli, are necessary for the formation and protection of the tooth enamel.
Raw onion is a good source of antibacterial sulfur, which kills various types of bacteria. Celery increases the flow of saliva which protects the teeth and neutralizes bacteria that cause tooth decay. It also massages the gums. Including sesame seeds in your diet is also recommended as they are a good source of calcium. They reduce plaque, prevent the formation of tartar, and help build tooth enamel. The good news, especially for men, is that meat and eggs are rich in phosphorus, a vital mineral for the teeth and bones.
Health care providers recommend avoiding foods that are rich in table sugar or fruit sugar, which cause tooth decay. Soft drinks and fruit juices contain acids which can lower the pH level of the mouth. Finally, smoking and chewing tobacco is associated with multiple dental problems and diseases
The information provided in this article does not constitute medical advice and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. If you have a health problem you should consult a licensed physician.
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