Have you ever gone out, looking very beautiful, with perfectly maintained skin, and just feeling splendid, but then the first person you speak to turns away or cringes and covers their mouth as if you have bad breath? Well, you probably do. That is, however, not a bad thing. Appearances are a mandated feature for most human beings, and we strive to maintain a good one by taking care of our physical and mental health through exercise, beauty routines such as facial scrubs, and even meditation. However, dental hygiene seems to take a back seat as we have grown up knowing that brushing once or twice in a day is enough hence the above embarrassment.
We, therefore, decided that it would be best as dentists to offer more information on how you can maintain good oral hygiene practices that will help with your overall health and wellbeing. Below we have elaborated more on the meaning of good dental hygiene practices, and the routines which should be followed, the fun facts which you should know about on dental hygiene, and how the choices you make affect your teeth.
What is the meaning of good dental hygiene practices?
Different people have a different understanding of what it means to have good dental hygiene practices. These are habits that you have picked up as you grow, from your family members, teachers and any other person you may have encountered as you grew up. After all, we are all creatures of habit.
Despite our different beliefs, there are a couple of routine dental activities that have been proved useful over the years. These are;
- Flossing: Flossing is done before you brush your teeth. This ensures that all the large food particles that have gathered in between your teeth are removed. Though very uncomfortable, you should floss daily. This ensures that no tartar or food residue settles in between your teeth.
- Brushing: The doctor recommends that we brush our teeth two times a day. That is in the morning when you wake-up and in the evening right before bed. This helps eliminate the germs that have gathered in between. When brushing, use the non-fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the teeth, gums, tongue and lips, ensuring that you reach the hidden parts as well.
- Use mouthwash: After flossing and brushing your teeth, you should run some mouthwash through your mouth for a couple of seconds. Mouthwash helps remove the remaining germs as it reaches areas where your toothbrush and toothpaste could not. It also balances the PH in your mouth caused by acid released by bacteria in your mouth. Most of all, it leaves your mouth feeling and smelling fresh, and you feeling confident.
- Maintain a healthy diet: ‘we are what we eat,’ is a phrase you hear a lot, especially as you grow older and in regards to weight. This goes for our teeth as well. Most of the food we eat, especially in this junk food era, contains a lot of fat, sugar, salts and acids. These are all foods that leave a residue that is a feast for the bacteria in the mouth if we do not brush thoroughly. Even healthy foods contain this, which makes it an unavoidable situation. The best solution that remains is to eat our food in moderation, eat a balanced diet and brush our teeth after our meals or at least two times a day.
- Visit your dentist at least twice and year: Nobody fancies a dentist’s Not children and not adults. We, therefore, find excuses each time we have an appointment until we cannot anymore. However clean we feel that our teeth are, the only sure way to know that we have healthy teeth is by visiting the dentist. These visits help prevent and early diagnose any underlying issue before it becomes severe such as tooth loss.
Are there any fun facts about dental hygiene?
Yes. A lot of things ‘dental’ are usually overlooked, while others are assumed. Three of those are;
1. There are about 300 different species of bacteria in your mouth.
Remember the slimy feeling you have on your tongue or teeth when you wake up in the morning or go for some time without brushing your teeth? Well, that is plaque forming on your teeth and tongue. It is made up of about 300 different kinds of bacteria that feast on the sugars in your mouth. This bacteria then produces acid, which is very harmful to your teeth.
2. Unless travelling or completely dry, avoid capping your toothbrush.
Capping your toothbrush is not necessarily as hygienic as you may perceive. Sure it will protect your brush from dust. However, when you cap it while the brush is still wet, moisture gets trapped in it, creating a breeding ground for more bacteria. That is not what you want.
3. How much soda is enough soda?
Well, unless you have a very sweet tooth, three glasses of soda are the recommended amount any adult should take in a day. This should be followed by thorough rinsing or cleaning of the mouth to remove any that is left. This is because sugar contributes to about 62%of all tooth decays. If you need to, use a straw, then clean your mouth.
How do you know if your dental hygiene ritual is effective?
The only sure way to know that you have healthy teeth is by visiting your dentist. You may not have bad breath, discoloured teeth or even any form of pain in your mouth, but only a dentist will give you a clean bill of dental health. For further consultation, visit our office in Guelph, and all your dental needs will be met with the utmost professionalism.