Oral health is linked to general wellness of our body. It is more than just cavities and gum disease. A growing body of evidence has linked oral health, particularly gum disease to chronic illness like diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Without prompt treatment, dental problem can lead to pain, tooth loss, self-confidence, speech problem and many challenges in work and personal life. However, one can prevent these problem with good dental care. The following are some dental idea to keep teeth and gum healthy. Our clinic is located at Mount Austin, Johor Bahru.
1. Brush for at least 2 minutes
It may sound like what everyone is doing. Brushing twice a day is the most important way to remove plaque and bacteria from teeth. We should avoid brushing in back-and-forth sawing motions. Nevertheless, brushing too hard or using toothbrush with hard bristle may cause more harm to teeth and gums. For example, leading to gum recession, abrasion cavities, dentinal hypersensitivity and excessive tooth wear. Our dentists recommend using a toothbrush with soft bristles and change your toothbrush every 3 months.
Correct brushing technique
- Aim your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gum
- Gently brush back and forth, in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the chewing surfaces, outer surfaces and the inner surfaces of the teeth.
- Tilt the brush vertically to clean the back of the front teeth and make several up-and-down strokes.
2. Fluoride toothpaste
Most major brand toothpastes contain fluoride. However, some direct-sale toothpastes are marketed as non fluoridated, natural or organic products. Beware of these product, lack of fluoride exposure can lead to tooth decay even if a person takes good care of their teeth. Our dentists recommend consumer to be more alert when shopping for toothpaste. Always read the product label before buying.
Brushing alone can only remove approximately 60% of tooth surfaces. Flossing once daily is effective to remove plaque and food debris trapped in between the teeth. If you have wide spaces between teeth or prothesis such as bridge or implant, your dentist might recommend to use interdental brush or super floss instead. Our dentists recommend gently pushing the floss from teeth contact to gumline before hugging the side of the tooth with up-and-down motions.
4. Visit dentist regularly
Regular dental visit is definitely a good idea to pick up small dental problem before they wreak havoc. Our dentists recommend people to visit dentist every 6 months for cleaning and checkup. However, if you can take good care of your teeth, your dentist might recommend a longer interval from 9 months to a year.
5. Do not smoke
Smoking can stain teeth and tongue. Nicotine and bad breath may bring a bad impression about you. Moreover, smoking delays tissue healing, increases risk of gum disease and may even cause oral cancer.
6. Healthy diet
Sugar is a risk factor for tooth decay and general health issues like obesity and diabetes. Thus, reducing sugary intake is a key step in promoting oral health. We recommend balanced diet and natural food source. Calcium-rich food such as milk, yogurt and cheese can promote strong teeth and bones. Phosphorus in eggs, fish, lean meat, nuts, bean and dairy is also beneficial to teeth. Meanwhile, vitamin C promotes gum health. So eat more fruits and leafy vegetable.
7. Use of mouthwash
Mouthwash is optional on top of toothbrushing and flossing. If you have certain dental condition, your dentist might recommend the use of mouthwash. For example, mouthwash containing chlorhexidine for post extraction or wisdom tooth removal procedure to fight plaque. However, long term use of chlorhexidine may cause some other minor problem such as numbness of tongue, staining on teeth and ulcer. Consult your dentist which is the mouthwash suitable for you in your next dental visit.