Maintaining sparkling teeth and fresh breath are indicators of overall good health and are a lifetime job. Even if someone has complimented your nice teeth, you still need to ensure taking the right steps every day to cater to your oral hygiene needs. All of us who keep putting off our ‘date’ with the dentist need to do a rethink.
Most of us do not know that dental care is one of the major factors to keep overall health in check. Diabetic and heart patients are most vulnerable to it. Pregnant women too can have a problem once they neglect oral health care. Health Shots got in touch with Dr Dhiman Banerjee, Dentist, Manipal Hospitals, Kolkata, to understand how to maintain oral hygiene and its importance in daily life.
The oral cavity allows bacterial proliferation in the mouth. “Without the habit of proper brushing, these bacteria have a big chance of multiplying, posing health risks. In severe cases, they can enter the bloodstream, leading to various health problems,” explains Dr Banerjee.
According to him, the bacterial infection affects both diabetic patients and cardiac patients infecting the lungs. In a recent study, it has been found that poor oral health in pregnant women has been linked to an increased risk of premature birth. Neglecting nighttime brushing allows food particles to remain trapped between teeth, leading to overnight fermentation. This fermentation promotes bacterial growth in the mouth.
The expert reckons few changes that we can make in our daily habits to maintain the health of our teeth and oral hygiene.
“It is suggested to brush your teeth immediately after breakfast instead of doing it early firs thing in the morning after waking up from sleep. It allows saliva to neutralize acids first. So, wash your mouth, have breakfast,” says the expert.
Have a chat with your dentist and the cliché suggestion will pop up, brush your teeth twice a day. In spite of knowing all this, we choose to ignore brushing our teeth at night. However, brushing after dinner helps maintain oral hygiene by helping us get rid of the plague and germs that have accumulated throughout the day, suggests the expert.
Dr Banerjee emphasizes regular dental check-ups and scaling every 7 to 8 months. Patients with different profiles may be susceptible to gum problems, and some may require scaling or maintenance therapy. These are essential for maintaining optimal oral health, provided there are no additional issues like gum disease or tooth damage.
While it is advisable to brush after every meal and beverage, including coffee or tea, waiting for 10 minutes after eating allows the mouth temperature to normalize. Additionally, flossing between teeth after dinner is crucial for comprehensive oral hygiene. Using mouthwash is an important part of maintaining good oral hygiene. While mouth fresheners provide a temporary fresh feeling, they do not contribute to oral health.
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To maintain oral hygiene effectively, it is crucial to limit the consumption of food with refined sugar, carbonated drinks, and chocolate regularly. “It is a misconception that drinking milk helps build strong teeth, but this is only applicable only up to the age of 5 years,” Dr. Banerjee adds.