Oral health is as important as physical health as it has an influence on your body systems. Read this article and get to know ways to keep your teeth clean.
Brushing your teeth twice daily helps remove the plaque and food particles between the teeth and helps maintain optimal oral health. But, oral health is not always about brushing; in addition, there are many other factors associated with it. The following are the crucial factors to be considered for oral health:
Brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Make sure to brush your teeth before going to bed; however tired you may be of your day. The bacteria and plaque that have been accumulated all through the day can only be removed by brushing at night. Also, when these harmful bacteria stay in the mouth for an extended period, they start releasing acids which can destroy the tooth structure and bring about dental caries. When you are very much prone to dental caries, use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth. Do consult your dentist before you start using fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush will not do an excellent job of cleaning your teeth.
Despite the number of times you brush, the technique you use to brush your teeth also plays a vital role in removing plaque and food debris from your teeth and making them free from harmful bacteria. Brush your teeth with gentle circular motions. Make sure you clean every surface of the tooth because ineffective plaque removal can cause calculus formation. Soon after taking acidic food or sugary food, do not brush your teeth, believing that it will reduce your tooth damage. But, this type of activity only increases your tooth damage. Therefore, wait at least about 30 minutes or an hour before brushing your teeth after consuming acidic or sugary foods.
Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdentally cleaner. Decay-causing bacteria still can linger onto tooth surfaces where toothbrush bristles cannot reach. In such cases, flossing or using interdental brushing aids help in removing plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line. In addition to plaque removal, it also helps in reducing inflammation and stimulating gums. Flossing can be pretty difficult when you start practicing but the benefits you get from it are good enough to overcome those challenges. Do train your child from an early age to floss their teeth.
Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks in between. Reduce the intake of sugar. Sugar harbors the growth of harmful acid-producing bacteria and increases your chances of getting a dental cavity. Also, if consumed, sticky foods stick onto the tooth surfaces and can only be removed by proper brushing and flossing. When these food substances are not removed adequately, they pave the way for the growth of bacteria. Limit the intake of sugary drinks; instead, prefer taking normal drinking water. Enamel can be eroded by taking acidic foods or beverages like tea, coffee, and soda. Therefore, avoid these to prevent enamel erosion, bringing about tooth sensitivity. Eat a good amount of crunchy vegetables and fruits that can keep your jaws working. In addition, these do not contain much sugar and reduce your risk of dental caries.
Do consume plenty of water. Water is not only free from sugar. In addition, it also helps in flushing out the sticky foods and acidic foods that have been deposited on your teeth before you can brush your teeth.
Antimicrobial mouth rinses reduce the bacterial count and inhibit bacterial activity in dental plaque, which can cause gingivitis, an early, reversible form of periodontal (gum) disease. Fluoride mouth rinses help reduce and prevent tooth decay. Clinical studies have demonstrated that using a fluoride mouth rinse and fluoride toothpaste can provide extra protection against tooth decay over that provided by fluoride toothpaste alone. Fluoride mouth rinse is not recommended for children age six or younger because they may swallow the rinse. Consumers should always check the manufacturer's label for precautions and age recommendations and talk with their dentist about the use of fluoride mouth rinse.
Oral health has things to do with the hygiene of your tongue. Food debris can build up on the surface of your tongue, which can produce malodor in the long run. It is due to the bacteria that accumulate on it. Therefore, clean your tongue regularly with a tongue scraper after you brush to keep your tongue free of debris.
Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleaning and oral checkups. Talk to the dentist about what types of oral care products will be most effective for you. Make it a habit to reach out to your dentist at least twice a year to avoid dental problems or to treat these problems at the earliest. Do not postpone your dental visits because dental issues, when treated early, can reduce both the suffering and the treatment cost. Dental procedures are not costly in reality, but what costs is the negligence of the patient to attend to the problem at an early stage.
Smoking also has an effect on your oral health. It causes stains on your teeth which affects the esthetics. In addition to the aesthetic aspect, smoking also poses a risk of gum problems. It aggravates the existing gum conditions and might lead to loss of teeth. It also increases the risk of developing oral cancers.
Maintaining a healthy and esthetic smile depends on the individual in most aspects. When adequately followed, these can bring about fruitful results in the patient's dental health. When in doubt, do contact your dental health provider to help you with the needed treatment. Only a dentist can give the best possible solution for your dental concern.
By cleaning your teeth, you can:
- Prevent gum diseases that lead to early loss of teeth.
- Remove stains that lead to discoloration of the teeth.
- Prevent tooth decay or caries in the tooth.
- Remove bad breath that does not go away with regular brushing.
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, gently brush all over the teeth. Give small circular motion with back and forth strokes, brushing carefully and gently near the gum line areas. Use a tongue scraper or brush to clean your tongue.
The side effects of professional teeth cleaning can be:
- Sensitive teeth - This is the most common side effect of teeth cleaning, but it is temporary. When exposed to food and air, the tooth surface, which is covered by a layer of plaque or calculus, can cause sensitivity. But the people who maintain good oral hygiene will not have such sensitivity in the teeth compared to the people with poor oral hygiene.
- Sore Gums - This can cause pain and discomfort for about ten days. This can occur as a result of laser teeth cleaning techniques. When people have plague, calculus, and bacterial colonization under the gums, it needs thorough cleaning of the sub-gingival layers, and this may cause the gum to become sore.
- Swollen Gums - This can be caused due to bacterial infection in the gums, which needs to be treated with antibiotics.
- Bleeding Gums - This can be caused due to deep cleaning of the gums.
- Gaps Between the Teeth - This is also the most significant side effect of teeth cleaning. Some people may experience food accumulation between the teeth, resulting in the formation of a layer of plaque and calculus. People undergoing cleaning may get these food deposits cleaned where they will see small gaps between the teeth.
Teeth cleaning can help you to get rid of both plaque buildup and bad breath. Plaque buildup is the common cause of bad breath because it consists of smelly bacteria. Therefore, teeth cleaning can help to reduce tooth decay and bad breath caused by plaque buildup.
Dental cleaning should not be painful, but if there is pain, it usually depends on the tooth and oral condition. The pain experienced is usually gum pain due to inflammation. Therefore, you can get your inflammation level down and then receive a painless procedure. And if there is tooth sensitivity, it can be due to attrition or abrasion of the teeth. These types of issues, when experienced, can be informed to the dentist, and he or she will manage it in the dental office for you to receive a painless dental cleaning.
Yellow teeth can be changed to white quickly or gradually, depending on the methods you choose. Professional teeth whitening usually takes about 3 to 4 weeks to whiten the yellow teeth.
If you do not receive any fluoride treatment, you can eat or drink immediately after the cleaning. But avoid drinks or foods that are abrasive or acidic and eat only soft food, at room temperature for a few days to give rest to the gums and the teeth for a better result.
Teeth cleaning can prevent gum diseases, which can lead to early tooth loss. And while cleaning your teeth, the dentist can detect early signs of any decay, broken filling, or oral abnormalities, which can be treated appropriately before getting worse. Therefore, it is good to get a dental cleaning from a dentist.
There is no proof that oil pulling can whiten your teeth, but some people claim that their teeth had become white after regular oil pulling. It has other health benefits like losing weight, prevention of decay, etc. For oil pulling, put one tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and then push and pull the oil in between your teeth.
The way to naturally whiten your teeth are:
- Brushing and flossing regularly.
- Practicing oil pulling.
- Using hydrogen peroxide.
- Brushing with baking soda.
- Eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Preventing tooth stains before they occur.
- Avoid drinking colored or aerated beverages.
Teeth cleaning by a dentist usually takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending upon the patient's oral condition. The patient will feel fresh, and the teeth will also look brighter after the teeth cleaning procedure.
Tartar is hard and cannot be removed at home. Only professional cleaning by a dentist will get rid of tartar. The following ways can prevent tartar from forming:
- Brush regularly, twice a day for at least 2 minutes.
- Use electronic or powered toothbrushes that may help you to get rid of plaque better than manual toothbrushing.
- Use tartar-controlling toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Floss regularly.
- Rinse daily after every meal.
- Watch your diet.
- Quit smoking.
Last reviewed at:
10 Jan 2022 - 4 min read
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