Did you know around 300 different species of bacteria live inside your mouth? Many of these bacteria can cause tooth decay and are spreadable just like other infectious diseases. In fact, an otherwise innocent 10-sec kiss can spread 80 million bacteria between mouths! This is why it is not wrong to say oral health is the gateway to your overall health.
Poor Oral Hygiene Can Affect More Than Your Smile!
Common dental problems like dental cavities and plaque can lead to periodontal disease. This causes your gums to recede from your teeth and creates a gap where bacteria can hide and grow. These bacteria can enter your bloodstream and adversely affect your health.
Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:
-Endocarditis, which is infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves
-Birth complications in pregnancy such as premature birth and low birth weight baby
-Pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
Are You Brushing the Right Way?
A poor job of brushing your teeth is almost as bad as not brushing at all. Practice the correct brushing technique with us:
1. Use a toothbrush with soft or medium hard bristles. Dispense a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
2. Place the bristles at 45 degrees angle to the gums and gently move in small circular motion.
3. Repeat the strokes around 20 times, 3 teeth at a time.
4. Brush all of the surfaces-outer, inner and chewing.
5. Tilt the brush vertically and make up and down strokes to clean the inner surfaces.
Oral Care: Flossing Is Equally Important!
-Use floss to clean surfaces and gum spaces between the teeth
-Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion
-On reaching the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth.
-Hold the floss tightly and move the floss away from the gum with up-and-down motions.
-Repeat with the rest of your teeth.
Dental Hygiene Tips
Here are few golden rules you must follow to maintain a good oral hygiene:
1. Brush at least twice a day-first thing in the morning and just before you go to sleep at night
2. Brush no more than 3 times a day. Brushing too often can damage your gums.
3. Brush for at least 2 minutes. Don’t rush when you brush.
4. Clean the tongue to get rid of the odor-producing bacteria.
5. Use a mouth rinse after meals in addition to daily brushing and flossing.
6. Change your toothbrush every 3 months or when the bristles start to flare, whichever comes first.
7. Try electric toothbrushes which are a fine alternative to manual brushes for people who are not able to use proper brushing techniques or physical limitations.
Make sure to cut down on sugary food items. And, don’t forget to visit your dentist every 6 months for regular check-ups. Always remember, healthy mouth matters!
Got more questions? Write to us at [email protected]
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)
1. Dewhirst FE, Chen T, Izard J, Paster BJ, Tanner AC, Yu WH, Lakshmanan A, Wade
WG. The human oral microbiome. J Bacteriol. 2010 Oct;192(19):5002-17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2944498/
2. Kort, R., Caspers, M., van de Graaf, A. et al. Shaping the oral microbiota through intimate kissing. Microbiome 2, 41 (2014). https://microbiomejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2049-2618-2-41