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Oral Hygiene

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Overview of oral hygiene

Teeth are one of the vital structures in the human body, which not only make up a bright smile but also play a major role in other functions of the body. They are one of the easiest body parts to be maintained but they are the most ignored part of the body. Simple steps like brushing daily in a proper way, maintaining good oral hygiene can help prevent numerous conditions related to 
teeth and gums.
1,2
 
Maintenance of Oral Hygiene

It has been universally agreed that prevention is always better than cure; this statement is applicable to teeth also.

There are various methods in order to maintain good oral hygiene. Some of the commonly followed methods are as follows:

1. Brushing

Proper brushing is necessary for the removal of soft films (plaque) and other substances that either form or remain on the teeth after eating. Certain guidelines for effective brushing are-

  • Soft bristles are more flexible and hence clean more effectively the minor space between the gums and the tooth (hard deposits begin to form if this area is not kept clean) and also reach the surfaces between two teeth.
  • With regular use most brushes wear out in about 3 months and need to be replaced.
  • Brushing hard and for longer duration can lead to wearing away of the teeth and reduction in the height of gums.

 2. Flossing

Dental floss is made up of multifilament nylon yarn and is used to clean the deposits that are lodged in between two teeth. These are available as over the counter products and can be used after obtaining proper instructions. The floss is generally wrapped around the fingers of the hands and is guided into place with the thumb and index fingers of each hand. It should be moved front and back, starting from the gum side towards the biting or chewing surface of the tooth.

 3. Dentifrices

Dentifrice is the general term used to denote the aids for cleaning and polishing the teeth. These are available in the form toothpastes, powders or gel. Effective cleaning can be performed with any type of dentifrices.3

4. Mouthwashes

These are commonly available as over-the-counter products. Most commonly advised mouthwash contains Chlorhexidine that is effective in both preventing plaque formation and reducing gum inflammation. Other medications that are included in the mouthwashes are Listerine and Triclosan. Control of tartar to some extent is also possible with the use of Triclosan containing mouthwashes or toothpastes.4

Mouthwashes

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Common Dental Problems Associated with Poor Oral Hygiene
 

 

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Written by Healthplus24 Team
Date last Updated: March 26, 2012