BENGALURU: Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral hygiene is key for the overall health of your body. There’s a lot of information available on the internet about oral health, hence most of us are aware about the importance of oral hygiene and how to maintain it in a good shape. However, are we putting this knowledge into practice? If yes, are we practising it the right way? Mentioned below are a few of the common oral hygiene mistakes and what to do about it.
Not brushing twice a day: One of the most common mistakes seen in India is the ignorance on brushing twice daily. It is recommended that one should clean every surface of their teeth immediately after each meal. In spite of this advice most of us don’t even brush our teeth at least twice a day. During each meal we consume, our teeth are exposed to carbohydrates which are basically sugar, if we leave this food particle uncleaned, bacteria present on your tooth surfaces will start to consume the food chunks and release acids which cause tooth decay and ultimately lead to gum infection.
Avoiding tongue while brushing: Your tongue is the playground of bacteria, it is one of the main locations where bacteria get attached inside mouth. Tongue is not covered by a smooth skin; it has microscopic grooves where bacteria can hide easily. Cleaning tongue will also help in eliminating bad breath. Brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth. Brush back and forth, on the sides and rinse your mouth with water.
Over brushing: Almost all of the toothpastes available in the market contain abrasives, if you brush your teeth longer than recommended time, these abrasives present in the toothpaste will deteriorate tooth surface and can lead to dental decay. The recommended time for brushing is two minutes max.Improper storing of toothbrush: After each use, your brush should be kept upright on a holder so that water drips off, and it should be stored in a place with proper ventilation. Don’t keep your toothbrush in an airtight container and throw it in the drawer if it is wet.
Changing toothbrushes: The human mouth contains around 500 to 1,000 different types of bacteria. Individuals that practise oral hygiene have 1,000 to 100,000 bacteria living on each tooth surface. Your toothbrush removes bacteria from the mouth and these bacteria get accumulated between the bristles of the toothbrush. It is recommended to change the toothbrush every three to four months. This also helps in maintaining your toothbrush always in a good shape.
Not using proper tools: Toothbrush is not the only tool we have when it comes to maintaining a proper oral hygiene. Other tools such as dental floss, mouthwash, sugar free mouth refreshing chewing gums can also be used.Avoiding periodic visits to a dentist: When it comes to oral hygiene, visiting your dentist once in every six months is strictly advised.
Over a period of six months some deposits get accumulated between your teeth which cannot be removed by the regular toothbrush. Your dentist does a procedure called oral prophylaxis (dental cleaning) to remove these hard deposits. Regular visit to the dentist can also help you with early detection of dental caries and other oral health related issues and resolving it in the early stages.
The author is the CEO and founder, Just Dental