15 Best Practices for Healthy Teeth

A well- known saying “Health is Wealth” includes health of each and every part of the human body. Healthy teeth give a healthy and happy smile. To keep the teeth healthy, one needs daily care for lifetime. Not only daily brushing keeps the teeth healthy, but also there are several good practices which helps in the same. Let’s see the best practices for the same.

15 Best Practices for Healthy Teeth

1. Brushing Teeth before Sleep

There is a general recommendation for everyone to brush daily. If the brushing technique and method is proper then only once daily brushing is sufficient. Most of the people fail to do proper brushing so twice daily brushing is recommended. Brushing teeth before sleep is necessary. If any food debris remains in between the teeth at night time, it causes more decay to the teeth as there is less production of the saliva in night. So, everyone should do proper brushing especially in the night before sleep.

Parents of small children should take care of their children’s teeth. Even infants gum pads should be cleaned with clean gauze or cotton after feeding milk. If the child is unable to brush properly, their parents should help them in brushing. So, never neglect brushing and never be lazy to do so.

Only brushing does not provide hundred percent protection to the teeth. Brush cannot reach to deeper grooves, tight junctions between the teeth and under the gums. To clean those areas, flossing, oral rinse etc are helpful.

2. Proper Brushing Technique

Everyone should do brushing with proper method. Many people are not aware of proper technique. They should visit dentist and learn the proper method. There are many methods of brushing. The most effective way of brushing in adults is vertical sweeping brushing technique. Persons who already have gums and teeth problem, vibratory motion technique is best for them. In children, rotary brushing technique is more effective. The horizontal scrub method is the most commonly used method of brushing. Horizontal scrub method harms the teeth in long run. This method abrades the teeth near to the gums, so it should be avoided.

There is no need to use large amount of toothpaste, only a peanut sized amount is sufficient. Brush with zig- zag cuts on the edge helps in proper cleaning of the teeth. This type of edge easily goes in between the teeth and removes the debris in an effective way.

3. Flossing

Everyone should do flossing at least once daily. Flossing removes food debris and plaque from places where tooth brush cannot clean easily. It cleans in between the teeth and under the gums easily decreasing the chances of gum diseases. One can do flossing at any time especially after meals or snacks. At that time it will remove any food particle remaining in between the teeth and helps in protection of the oral health.

Floss is a thread- like aid or cord of thin filaments which easily removes plaque and food between the teeth. Plaque in between the teeth is the primary cause of periodontal and teeth decay problems. There are a variety of floss available in the market. It can be either of single filament or multi- filament, waxed or unwaxed, with or without handle. More or less there is no difference in the effectiveness of different types of floss. Single filament waxed floss slides easily in between the teeth, does not fray and is easy to use. Floss with handle are easier to use by anyone.

The floss should be guided in between the teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it gently according to the c- shape against one tooth. Clean that area by moving the floss away from the gum with up and down strokes. Then clean another tooth in the same manner and repeat this for rest of the teeth.

4. Oral Rinse or Mouthwash

Oral rinse or mouthwash is a liquid solution to swish around the mouth. It helps in removing loosely lodged food particles, reduces bad breath, provides moisture to the mouth and maintains oral hygiene. Simply, one can rinse with small amount of table salt added to luke warm water.

Chlorhexidine, povidone iodine, Listerine etc are some the mouthwashes available commercially. These mouthwashes also helps in removing plaque from the teeth. These are helpful in persons who cannot brush properly. Chlorhexidine mouthwash is recommended twice daily. It also prevents accumulation of plaque and protects the teeth for around 12 hours.

5. Use of Oral Irrigators and Powered Toothbrush

Oral irrigator is a home dental care device which uses a pulsating stream of water to remove plaque and clean the teeth. It is very effective in people with periodontal problems, orthodontic appliances etc.

Powered toothbrush is an electric toothbrush having automatic bristle motions. They are powered by a rechargeable battery. This type of toothbrush is more effective in cleaning the teeth as it is not dependent upon the user’s personal brushing technique. Powered toothbrush is specially indicated in persons with less dexterity.

6. Use of Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride helps in preventing tooth decay. It reduces the breakdown of the enamel by strengthening it. It also helps in remineralisation of the weak spots of enamel. Although fluoride is usually present in drinking water, but in some areas its amount is either very less or in excess. Excess of fluoride has disadvantages related to teeth, bone and body. So, the amount of fluoride in the water, toothpaste, mouthwash should be known and used carefully. Not everyone needs fluoridated toothpaste. Only those areas where the fluoride is less in the drinking water, need it.

7. Reduce Consumption of Sticky Sweet Foods

Sticky sweet foods sticks to the teeth and they are difficult to remove just by the saliva and the tongue. When they remain stick to the teeth and in between areas, over the time bacteria decay these foods and acid is produced. This acid then causes damage to the teeth. The bacteria and the acid produced also cause gum problems. So to keep the teeth healthy one should reduce the consumption of sticky sweet foods. If unable to do so, then after consumption one should properly brush to remove it.

8. Quit Smoking

“Smoking kills”, everyone must have seen this phrase in advertisements or on the cigarette packs. As smoking is injurious to health and it can lead to cancer which ultimately causes untimely death. Smoking increases the chances of both mouth cancer and lung cancer. It causes brown to black staining of the teeth and gum problems. So one should not do smoking to maintain both oral and general health.

9. Avoid Smokeless Tobacco products and Arecanut

Smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco, gutkha, snuff etc contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and causes dental diseases, oral and oropharyngeal cancer, oesophagus cancer etc. Arecanut contains various compounds such as arecoline etc which also have psychotic properties. It causes various gums and teeth related problems. Arecanut also causes oral submucous fibrosis, reduced mouth opening and is carcinogenic. So people should avoid smokeless tobacco and arecanut.

10. Reduce use of Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated drinks contain dissolved carbon dioxide which gives rise to fizz. These drinks are acidic in nature. They also contain sugar. So, excess consumption of carbonated drinks causes erosion of the teeth. The bacteria present in the mouth degrade the sugar content and produce acid, this acid along with the acidic nature of the drinks erodes the teeth surface. Drinking water after having carbonated drinks dilutes it and prevents the decay. So one should reduce the use of carbonated drinks.

11. Use of Dietary Fiber rich Vegetables and foods

Dietary fiber rich vegetables and foods helps in removal of food debris and cleans the teeth. They neutralize the acid produced by bacteria in the mouth. They also increase the production of saliva. The texture of the fiber rich foods acts as a natural abrasive and gently scrub the teeth and cleans them. So they help in preventing diseases related to teeth and gum.

12. Snack on Cheese and Crunchy fruits

Cheese is very beneficial for teeth specially aged cheese like cheddar, swiss etc. It increases the pH in the mouth thereby decreasing the chances of tooth decay. Cheese also contains calcium and protein which strengthen the teeth enamel and protect it. Crunchy fruit helps in removal of plaque, cleans the teeth and thereby prevents dental diseases. So, cheese and crunchy fruits make a very healthy snack option especially for teeth.

13. Avoid Hard Foods

Excess use of hard foods is harmful for teeth as they may cause fracture of the teeth. Enamel of the teeth is brittle in nature. Although it is very hard in nature and is difficult to crack but in case of decayed teeth and dental diseases, hard foods can easily cause fracture. So, one should avoid excessive use of hard foods.

14. Reduce the frequency of in-between meals

Frequent use of in-between meals especially sweets and junk foods increases the sugar levels in the mouth. Bacteria degrades the sugar and produces acid which causes damage to the teeth. So, there should not be very frequent in-between meals.

15. Regular removal of Calculus or Scaling

Scaling is a procedure to remove calculus deposits present on the teeth. These deposits are hard and therefore difficult to remove only by brushing. Calculus deposits cause gum diseases and weaken the teeth causing early loss of teeth. So, one should frequently visit the dentist for removal of calculus and stains.

Apart from these best practices, one should visit the dentist every 6 months for check-up. So that if any problem is there, early detection is possible. The problems can be prevented at an early stage and one can maintain a very good oral and dental health.

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