What is the first thing you notice when you meet someone? People generally answer this question with a variety of answers encompassing things like shoes, clothes, hairstyle and smell. But in reality the first thing that is most evident when you meet someone are their teeth. General dental health of a person is often considered as a mirage to his personality, well-being and living standards. In short it gives a glimpse into what kind of human being he or she is.
Another aspect of meeting someone is conversation. Even if somehow you do not notice the person’s teeth at the first glance, talking surely put those on display with a neon sign. The situation becomes much more awkward when you start smelling something awful as soon as the other person opens his mouth to speak.
Yeah even that is largely influenced by your dental health. People are easily repulsed by a foul breath, irregular and yellow or dark stained teeth. But hardly had we put in the effort to go and visit a dentist, mostly out of the stereotyped fear but sometimes due to excessively busy schedules which are more prevalent in current era.
Consider this article as your cheat sheet to a better dental health. Here you will find a concise but very important guide to a healthier mouth.
01. Brush your teeth daily
It is of utmost importance to brush your teeth daily, at least once. Ideally everyone should brush twice a day, once in the morning and once at night before sleeping. An obvious question here is ‘why brushing at night eminent?’ If you do not brush at night all that you have eaten throughout the day is somewhere deposited in microfilms over your teeth. This is nothing less than a grand feast for all the caries causing microbes.
These microbes are in special party mood at night as compared to day time. During the day hours you are either drinking or eating something or simple talking which involves movement of your mouth. In turn circulation of saliva which inhibits activity of these microbes, but at night when you are having you beauty sleep there is nothing major to hinder these notorious buggers. They go full throttle ahead to do their worst with your teeth. So, pick up that brush whenever moon comes out and brush your teeth if you want them to stay right where they are.
02. Choose your instruments wisely
Do not go for those hard bristled brushes, because even with minimum force they may damage your teeth. Opt for medium or soft bristled brushes depending on nature of your teeth. Also avoid using abrasive toothpastes or tooth-powders or other adjuvants.
The most common question asked to a dentist is- ‘which is the best toothpaste to use?’ So let me tell you that, any good quality toothpaste from a trusted company is fine for a healthy mouth. In case you have some problem in your teeth like sensitivity, recurrent caries, then consult your dentist who will prescribe you a medicated toothpaste for the same.
03. Appropriate Tooth-Brushing Technique
Almost everyone brushes their teeth in a horizontal motion. But this is what causes most abrasions. What is the most suggested motion for brushing? The answer is circular motion. By moving the brush in a circular motion proper cleaning & removal of debris occurs.
The easier way to understand this is by imagining the process that takes place while you brush your teeth. If you use a horizontal motion, debris which you might have dislodged from tooth surface would just move to and fro in the same space and deposit in same area. But with a circular motion, the debris are pushed down in the open space of oral cavity from where is it rinsed out with water.
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Circular motion also ensures uniform distribution of forces which in most cases, protect the teeth from abrasive injuries. It is also important to ensure cleaning of the inside/lingual/palatal surface of teeth to make sure it is free of any depositions.
04. Dietary Modifications
Diet plays an important role in management of dental health. Studies have proven that excess and frequent consumption of sticky sugar increases incidences of caries. In individuals who are prone to cavities, consumption of sugar should be significantly reduced. Also, change the type and nature of sugar.
Sucrose and fructose are more cariogenic i.e. they are related to higher incidence of caries, whereas xylitol has caries inhibitory effect. Inclusion of fibrous food, fruits, milk, and fish have also been associated with better dental health.
05. Flossing your teeth
The area below the point where two adjacent teeth come in contact is called embrasures. In a healthy individual, these contacts are tight & gums cover the embrasures. Such people should use dental floss to clean the proximal sides of teeth. In cases of extreme tight contacts do not try to force the floss inside as it may damage the tooth instead of benefitting it.
In patients with open embrasures which may be due recessed gums, or any other reason, specialized interproximal brushes should be used. The dentist prescribes them depending on the size of embrasures. These spaces if filled with deposits can also lead to bad breath or halitosis. You all know that is a socially embarrassing situation. So, for a healthy social life it is essential that even the proximal surfaces should be clean.
06. Clean your tongue
Other than cleaning teeth, tongue cleaning is also important. It plays a major role in chewing food, not only due its specialized quality of taste reception, but also by regulating the motion of food in mouth. This converts it in an appropriate sized bolus suitable for swallowing.
Whatever we eat, remains in a close contact with not only teeth but also with tongue. So deposition of food debris is also found on its surface, which if not cleaned would result in bad breath as well as other medical conditions.
07. Condition of toothbrush
You all must have noticed that someone in your family has a toothbrush in which every bristle is running haywire as if it had just suffered an electric shock. Such brushes are of no use as they can injure the gums surrounding teeth and not help much in cleaning deposits. Ideally, you should change toothbrush every 3 months. Having said that, if you toothbrush gets damaged before that, then change it immediately. If you had been using it carefully and every bristle seems to be in its appropriate position then you may use it for as long as 6 months.
The major reason of changing toothbrush frequently is because after brushing some residue of toothpaste still remains at the bottom of bristles near the paddle. Now, it is common sense that one which is not clean cannot clean. You would not use a soiled cloth to clean anything. So to ensure proper hygiene a clean toothbrush is necessary.
08. Start hygiene routine at the right time
Parents should attend counselling for child’s dental care before birth of the baby. They need to be mentally prepared and equipped for the same. When baby is born, he feeds on milk, residue of which if not cleaned may deposit and cause disease. In infants before teeth begin to erupt i.e. up to 6 months of age, use a wet cotton. Squeeze it tightly and use it with minimal and gentle pressure by rolling it around your finger. Now-a-days, specific cleaning instruments are available in market for the same.
Use small soft brushes soon after first teeth erupts without toothpaste, with water & gentle pressure. Till your child is old enough to expectorate properly, avoid using toothpaste so as to prevent ingestion. In earlier years of a child’s life, parents should supervise his brushing habits to prevent any mishap. Also sooner the habit is established better is the continuation and result of it.
09. Modification of habits and lifestyle
Thumb sucking is normal till 3-3.5 years of age. If it extends beyond that, parents should look after it and do their best to inhibit its instillation in child. Consult a doctor who would find its root cause and treat it along with eradication of thumb sucking. Similarly, if you notice any aberrant habit, consult a doctor. Accompanying it with some counselling, you can achieve the best results.
10. Visit your dentist every 6 months
Last but not the least, do not be afraid to see a dentist. They are there to help you. Regular visit ensures a healthy mouth and thus a healthy body. You can make these visits every 6 monthly or yearly as per your schedule. But visiting the doctor in every 6 months is more advisable. The reason for saying this is because precaution is better than cure. If any disease were to initiate, dentist would be able to catch it early. Doing so would prevent you from having to undergo any extensive procedures in future. Not only this, it would also save you a bunch of dollars. Those who are really very cautious about their oral health and take very good care of it can make this visit in 10-12 months.
This brings us to the end of this article. Follow these simple steps and you are all set to rock any meeting and rule the entire world with a beautiful scintillating smile. All the best people!