What is oral hygiene?

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oral hygiene

Oral hygiene is the application of such methods which result in proper cleanliness and pathogen-free condition of the mouth, including teeth, gums, tongue, and the lining inside the cheeks and lips.

Oral hygiene can play a pivotal part in saving the human body not only from oral and dental problems but also from diseases related to other parts of the body. For example, maintaining good oral hygiene not only saves us from bad breath and plaque formations, but it also protects us from the presence of bacteria and other pathogens and their entry into the body through the mouth.

oral hygiene

Plaques are one of the most important predisposing factors to various oral diseases. Plaque is the concretion of bacteria, food residue, saliva, and mucus with calcium and phosphate salts. Poor oral hygiene allows plaque to accumulate on the teeth.

Poor oral hygiene may lead to severe dental infections, which in turn may contribute to various potentially fatal diseases.

oral hygiene

Inadequate plaque control can cause caries or cavities in the teeth. Dental diseases such as gum-infections also result from plaque formation due to poor oral hygiene. This gum-infection is associated to the 2-fold increased risk of coronary artery disease (a diseased condition of the heart). The gum-infection also has the potential to cause not only tooth loss but in combination with pneumonia; it can lead to death.

Poor oral hygiene can also lead to reduced nutritional intake, which contributes to impaired general health. Ignoring oral hygiene can also result in the worsening of conditions such as mouth ulcers.

Maintaining improved oral hygiene reduces the possibility of getting other diseases. It also reduces the chance of tooth loss in old age.

We advise that you should brush your teeth after every meal that you take, but brushing at least once every 24 hours should be mandatory.

oral hygiene

While brushing, it is also essential to focus on gums and to carefully clean them along with the teeth. Brush for a minimum of 4 minutes with a manual toothbrush and a minimum of 2 minutes if you have an electric one.

Use toothpaste that has fluoride in it. Do not use abrasive toothpaste in excess as it may cause erosion of the teeth.  

Daily cleaning of the teeth with dental floss is also a must. Dental floss should be placed between each of the teeth, curved against the side of each tooth, and moved up and down three times, going just beneath the gum margins. 

Occasional rinsing of the mouth with chlorhexidine is also a good habit.

A routine visit to the dentist or dental hygienist at six months to one-year intervals can help minimize the chance of oral diseases.

It is also important to mention that smoking is a crucial and significant contributing factor to poor oral hygiene, so you should try and avoid it.

Remember that your aim should be to keep the mouth clean and prevent the formation of plaque.

If you have any questions that you want to ask, please feel free to mention them in the comments section.