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Tips for Great Dental Hygiene

Nabil Mockbil May 27, 2019
Healthy teeth and gums can keep your body disease-free and improve your smile and your overall appearance. Great oral hygiene ensures that you avoid dental complications like gum disease, dental caries, bad breath and tooth loss. Healthy teeth and gums also help you eat and speak properly.
Good dental habits can help prevent painful and expensive dental treatments. It is therefore, very important to maintain good oral hygiene habits for strong, healthy teeth and gums that can last you a lifetime.

What does a healthy mouth look like?

  • Fresh clean breath.
  • Pink gums that do not bleed when you brush your teeth or floss.
  • Clean teeth with no stains, debris or plaque buildup.

What can you do for good oral hygiene?

  • Brush your teeth twice a day using the correct technique. Speak to your oral hygienist or dentist for a demonstration. Proper brushing will remove any plaque build-up and food from the tooth surfaces.
  • Floss daily to remove any food debris from the hard-to-reach areas, like between the teeth. There are various interdental flossing devices available that can make this dental chore easy but effective.
  • Use a fluoride-containing toothpaste and mouthwash to protect your teeth from decay and make your teeth stronger.
  • Eating healthy foods will provide all the nutrients necessary for strong, healthy teeth and gums.
  • Sugary snacks should be limited and if you do indulge, be sure to brush your teeth afterwards.

What is the best type of toothbrush?

Choosing the type of toothbrush is your personal choice. There are a wide variety - different head sizes, hard or soft bristles, electric and manual toothbrushes.

Whichever type you choose, ensure you use the correct technique to remove as much plaque and food from the teeth.
Check your toothbrush regularly for worn and frayed bristles and replace the head or toothbrush every three months. If you have decided on a manual toothbrush, ensure the head size allows you to manoeuvre it around the mouth to clean the back teeth.

How often should one visit the dentist?

Your dentist will probably recommend how often to go for a dental checkup. It depends on the condition of your teeth and gums. People with great dental hygiene and low risk of dental decay or gum disease can visit their dentist once a year.

Those with a higher risk of dental problems are encouraged to have more frequent visits.
Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums closely at every visit to spot any signs of trouble. He may take some preventative steps if he identifies any potential problems, e.g. if a tooth is cracked or the surface weakened, he may suggest a filling to strengthen the tooth and prevent further damage.

What is dental cleaning?

Most people hate going to the dentist and scheduling a regular dental cleaning voluntarily is challenging. However, if you understand the procedure and importance of regular dental cleaning, you will see that it is a painless and simple procedure but a very important one.
  • Your dentist or oral hygienist will begin with a thorough exam of the mouth. If he sees any potential problems, he will call in the dentist.
  • He will use a scraper to remove tartar (hardened plaque) between the teeth and at the gum line.
  • The teeth are then deep-cleaned using a gritty toothpaste and electric brush. Your oral hygienist may use some floss to remove any plaque from between the teeth.
  • You can then rinse out the toothpaste with a mouth wash.
  • The final stage is a fluoride application to the tooth surfaces. This protects the teeth from cavities.
It is widely recommended that you have dental cleanings twice a year to prevent any dental problems.

What else can you do for good oral health?

  • Most of us are fastidious about cleaning our teeth but neglect the tongue. It is important to gently brush your tongue to avoid bad breath because plaque can deposit on the tongue causing halitosis.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. Not only is it essential for a healthy body but drinking water often can wash away any trapped food that can potentially cause caries. This also helps to prevent bad breath due to decaying food in the mouth.
  • Reduce any sugary beverages and use a straw which will minimize contact between the beverage and the tooth surfaces thus preventing dental caries.
  • Eating fresh and crunchy foods are healthy but also help clean the surfaces of teeth. Eat plenty of them to keep your smile bright.

Author bio

Dr. Nabil Mockbil received his DDS in 2001 from Umea University in Sweden, regarded as having the best dentist programme in Sweden for undergraduates. He’s now the founder of Swedish Dental Clinic in Dubai.