How To Maintain Oral Health

Posted July 29, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 5 min read

Maintaining oral health is very crucial in preventing many teeth related problems like tooth cavities, gum diseases, bad breath, bleeding gums, etc. And hence here are some important ways to maintain good oral hygiene.

How to keep my teeth clean?

  • Plaque is a bio film of bacteria that coats your teeth if you don’t brush them properly. It contributes to gum disease and tooth cavities.

  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice daily for about 2 minutes to help keep your oral cavity healthy.

  • Tooth brushing stops plaque building up and further formation of calculus which can lead to various dental problems.

When should I brush my teeth?

  • Brush your teeth for about 2 minutes before you go to bed and after waking up in the morning.

  • Your dentist or hygienist may give you more advice based on your own dental health and needs.

  • Rinse your mouth with water after every meal to prevent food lodgement.

Which toothbrush should I use?

  • It doesn’t matter whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush.

  • They’re both are equally good, as long as you clean all the surfaces of all your teeth and use fluoride toothpaste.

  • But some people find it easier to clean their teeth thoroughly with an electric toothbrush as it has predefined pressure application, gum massaging ability and many more.

What should I look for in a toothbrush?

  • For most of the adults, a toothbrush with a small head and a compact, angled arrangement of long and short round-end bristles is fine. Medium or soft bristles are best for most of the people.

  • If you’re using an electric brush, one with an oscillating or rotating head may work better than a manual toothbrush.

  • But making sure you completely clean your teeth at least twice a day is more important than the type of brush you use. If in doubt, ask your dentist for further information.

What type of toothpaste should I use?

  • It’s important to use a toothpaste with the right concentration of fluoride content in it.

  • Check the packaging to find out how much fluoride each brand contains.

  • Adults should use a toothpaste that contains at least 1,350 parts per million (ppm) fluoride.

  • Children don’t need to use special children’s toothpaste. Children of all ages can use family toothpaste only, as long as it contains 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride.

  • Children aged 3 and under who don’t have tooth decay can use a lower strength children’s toothpaste, but make sure it contains at least 1,000ppm fluoride.

  • Children under the age of 3 should use just a smear of toothpaste. Children aged 3 to 6 years should use a pea-sized blob of toothpaste. Make sure children don’t lick or eat toothpaste from the tube directly.

  • Your dentist may advise you or your child to use a toothpaste with a higher concentration of fluoride, if you need it.

How to brush your teeth?

  • Make sure you clean all the surfaces of all your teeth, which should take about 2 minutes.

  • Remember to brush the inside or lingual surfaces, outside surfaces or labial surfaces and the chewing or occlusal surfaces of your teeth.

How to help children brush their teeth?

  • Children need to be helped or supervised for brushing their teeth until they’re at least 7 years old.

  • Get more tips on taking care of children’s teeth from your dentist

  • Teach children to gargle after every meal to avoid dental caries due to food lodgement.

Don’t rinse with water straight after toothbrushing

  • After brushing, spit out the excess toothpaste.

  • Don’t rinse your mouth immediately after brushing, as it’ll wash away the concentrated fluoride in the remaining toothpaste.

  • Rinsing dilutes and reduces preventative effects of the fluoride.

Should I use mouthwash daily?

  • Using a mouthwash that contains fluoride can help prevent tooth decay, but don’t use mouthwash (even a fluoride one) straight after brushing your teeth or it’ll wash away the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste left on your teeth.

  • Choose a different time to use mouthwash, such as after lunch.

  • Don’t eat or drink for 30 minutes after brushing with a fluoride mouthwash.

  • It is not advisable to use mouthwash daily as it may harm the useful bacteria present in the oral cavity along with the harmful one.

How to use dental floss?

  • Flossing isn’t just for dislodging food wedged between your teeth. Regular flossing may also reduce gum disease and bad breath by removing plaque that forms along the gum line.

  • It’s best to floss before brushing your teeth.

  • Take 30cm to 45cm of floss or dental tape and grasp it so that you have 3cm or 4cm of floss taut between your hands.

  • Slip the floss or dental tape between the teeth and into the area between your teeth and gums, as far as it’ll go.

  • Floss with 8 to 10 strokes, up and down between each tooth, to dislodge food and plaque.

How to use interdental brushes?

  • You can use interdental brushes or single-tufted brushes instead of flossing, especially if there are gaps or spaces between your teeth.

  • The brush should fit snugly between the teeth.

  • Never use toothpicks to remove trapped food from between your teeth as you may damage your gums which could lead to an infection, and it will create gaps between the teeth also.

  • Your dentist or hygienist can advise you on the best way to clean between your teeth.

Read about Brushing techniques

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