The mouth is the beginning of the digestive tract and if anything goes wrong here, the rest of your body will get the heat.
It is important you maintain a good oral hygiene in order to protect yourself from myriads of medical and dental problems. Tooth problems can lead to tooth aches, teeth loss, gum disease, bone loss, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and an inability to eat or speak properly.
To have a good oral hygiene, follow these simple steps:
1. Quit smoking and chewing tobacco: These two habits are never going to let you have a good oral health. They will not only destroy your teeth but predispose you to cancer and periodontal complications. You’ve to quit smoking and stuffing your mouth with tobacco right now to decrease your risk of these health problems.
2. Brush regularly: This is as important as anything else in your life right now. If you desire good health, you should learn to brush at least twice everyday for 2 minutes, spending one minute on both the upper and the bottom teeth, including your tongue. This prevents acid buildup from the breakdown of food by bacteria. More so, learn to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after every snack.
3. Brush your tongue regularly: Your tongue is also vulnerable to bacteria attacks as much as your teeth are. After meal, some of the food particles get stuck on your tongue and here, bacteria act on them to cause tooth damage or produce foul odour otherwise known as bad breath. To clean your tongue properly, brush back and forth, brush side to side, and rinse your mouth with water.
4. Visit your dentist: According to FDI World Dental Federation, you should visit your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleaning. This is key to maintaining good oral health and it’s recommended for everyone not withstanding whether your gum or teeth are sound because this does not only save you from health woes at the moment but prevent them from occurring in the future.
5. Limit your coffee, alcohol and soda consumption: The sugar and acid in these drinks can destroy your teeth forever. These beverages contain high level of phosphorus and too much of this mineral reduces the body’s calcium level. The end result is tooth decay and gum disease. It is therefore best to go for water and milk which hydrates your body longer and strengthen your enamel respectively.
6. Floss frequently: Flossing at least once a day is important to remove plaque and bacteria from the areas between your teeth that tooth brush cannot get to. The accumulation of this plaque hardens into tartar (also known as calculus) further causing gum disease. In addition, bacteria in the calculus will break down the surrounding bone and eventually cause teeth loss.
7. Mouth wash: Mouthwashes comes with its merits and demerits. Using the right mouthwash improves your gum health, gives you fresh taste, and prevent cavity. Using the wrong mouthwash can lead to burning sensation, ulcers, altered taste, tooth staining, and drying of oral tissues in the mouth. Before using any mouthwash speak with your dentist to help you make the right choice.
Steps for using a mouthwash
- Brush and floss your teeth before using mouthwash
- Use the recommended amount
- Rinse for thirty seconds
- Do not eat anything for 30 minutes after using a mouth wash
8. Watch what you eat: Consuming foods containing calcium and vitamin D would help maintain the health of your gums and teeth. Vitamin B complex is also essential for the protection of gums and teeth from cracking and bleeding. Copper, zinc, iodine, iron and potassium are also required for maintaining healthy dental hygiene. So, go for leafy greens, apples, meat, cheese, almonds, eggs and fish.
By practicing these simple steps you are on your way to having optimal oral heath even into old age.