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We all know that good oral hygiene is important in preventing tooth decay and gingivitis, but research has shown that poor oral care has also been linked to heart disease, dementia, respiratory infections and diabetes. While maintaining a healthy mouth is a lifelong commitment and might sound like a chore, it’s not that hard at all!
Don’t Give It a Brush-off
Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water every time you use it. Let your toothbrush dry thoroughly between brushings. Don’t use toothbrush covers, which can create a moist enclosed breeding ground for bacteria.
What’s in Between
Nothing cleans in between the teeth better than floss or interdental brushes. A fine-bristle toothbrush just won’t cut it. Floss and interdental brushes work by removing food trapped between the teeth and removing plaque that forms there before it turns into tartar. They also clean under the gum line, which is an important step to prevent gum disease.
Prevent Oral Injury
While it’s important to clean between the teeth, using toothpicks, fingernails or folded paper may cause friction, damaging the gum line, and not to mention unhygienic. Brushing too vigorously and not replacing your brush when the bristles start to lose their shape can also cause injury to the teeth and gums. Wear mask if you have habit of biting your nails.
Snacking has been known as a major culprit in weight gain, but did you know that snacking also promotes the production of plaque acid in the mouth? This is because most snacks contain sugar. Your best bet is to cut down on sugary treats and aim to brush after every meal. The fact that it’s cumbersome to brush after every meal or snack should discourage you from snacking too often.
Pay a Visit, or Pay the Price
It’s important to visit your dentist regularly (recommended every 6 months) for checkups and monitoring. Your dentist can detect any problems at an early stage when they’re treatable and more affordable to take care of. Your dentist is also the best person to advise you on the best tools and techniques suited to you to keep your home oral care up to scratch.
Maintaining a good oral hygiene can be trickier for those wearing metal braces. Plaque and food particles have additional places to accumulate, flossing is only possible with super floss, and brushing takes more effort than ever. This is where invisible braces (teeth aligners) prove to be a better option – oral hygiene is easy since you can simply remove it to brush your teeth and floss as usual.