Keep up your dental hygiene game with these 6 steps

10 Jul 2018
POSTED BY Alvin Thomas

Oral health and hygiene is just as important a factor to your bodily health as any other. Keep cavities at bay and give your dentist a break, by following these simple steps for healthy teeth and gums.

We’ve all been there – that shameful moment when your dentist asks how often you floss, and you most likely reply, “Not often enough,” while he or she clucks disapprovingly, shaking their head.

Turns out they know what they’re talking about.

In Oman, nearly 85 per cent of children between the ages of six and eight suffer from tooth decay, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Health (MoH). However, the number of cases of patients with gum diseases are also on the rise.

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the main threats to dental health, but maintaining a healthy mouth goes beyond the benefits of a bright smile.

Gum disease is a chronic, inflammatory condition, and recent studies suggest that it, along with tooth decay, may be associated with an increased risk of other inflammatory conditions, including heart attack and stroke if left untreated.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. describes common warning signs of gum disease, including bad breath, gums that are red, swollen, bleeding, or tender; pain when chewing; loose or sensitive teeth; receding gums; change in bite; and change in the fit of partial dentures. Additional factors that increase the risk of gum disease include smoking, diabetes, stress, and poor oral hygiene.

That said, most people can improve their dental hygiene and reduce their risk for developing gum disease by following a few simple steps

  • 1) Brush. It may seem like a no-brainer – but brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste. Pick a toothbrush style that fits your mouth and feels comfortable, and you’ll be more likely to use it. If your teeth are sensitive, or you want them to be whiter, look around; there’s a toothpaste for that.
  • 2) Floss. Floss your teeth once a day. Dental floss is available in a variety of widths and thicknesses, although some people prefer disposable flossers, which are often easier for children to use.
  • 3) Rinse. Oral rinses play an important role in our dental health routine. Gum disease is caused by bacteria, but an oral rinse formulated with bacteria-targeting ingredients can help keep gum disease at bay.
  • 4) Try herbal breath fresheners. Chew on fresh parsley or mint leaves, or rub your teeth with orange peel to help fight tartar build-up. Alternatively, you can also gargle with an apple cider solution. You can create the solution by combining 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water.
  • 5) Switch to xylitol gum. Bacteria love the sugar alcohol in xylitol, but bacteria can’t break it down, and they eventually starve to death. So, chewing gum with xylitol can reduce gum disease and tooth decay, while also promoting saliva production.
  • 6) Oil-pulling. This is an Ayurvedic technique that’s been known to aid in oral hygiene. To try it at home, you’ll need 1 Tablespoon of sesame or coconut oil. All you need to do is gently gargle the liquid in your mouth for about 10 minutes. Both sesame and coconut oil have antibacterial properties that can keep your teeth and gums at the right pH levels. You’ll also notice that oil-pulling naturally whitens your teeth.

Source: NewsUSA

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