Oral Hygiene

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We all remember being told to brush our teeth at least twice a day as children – but how many of us continue to stick to that wise advice? In a busy age when many us wake up and scramble out the door to get to work or school, keeping our teeth clean may not be at the top of the agenda.

But did you know that by failing to take care of your teeth you could be building up a whole host of dental problems, both in the short-term and long-term. It goes without saying that oral hygiene is something we should all take seriously.

Tooth ache is not a pleasant experience, as many of you can testify to. So let’s start with the thorny subject of plaque.

Plaque – The cause of dental problems

brushingSo what is plaque then? Well, plaque is a sticky film which can be found on the teeth and gums and too much of it is, of course, not a good thing because the bacteria in it release acid that decays tooth enamel. This, in turn, leads to tooth decay. Ouch!

However, you can help yourself. By ensuring you carry out daily brushing and flossing this can prevent the hardened plaque, which is known as tartar, from forming on the teeth.

Plaque can also cause irritation to the gums so as well as brushing regular, ensure you enjoy a balanced diet. That means avoiding reaching for the biscuit jar too often!

Don’t forget the tongue!

You might be too focused on your teeth to realise the importance of cleaning your tongue too. The tongue harbours a coating of bacteria, along with dead cells, which can create bad breath so it’s a good idea to brush your tongue.

Many toothbrushes today are customised with special tongue-cleaning features so the process shouldn’t be too hard. So don’t forget the tongue!

What else can I do?

Be aware that if you smoke this will not do your mouth any favours. It can cause stains to your teeth, bad breath and cause infections. Be warned!

woman smileIt also goes without saying that eating sugary and fizzy foods will also cause a build up of plaque in your mouth. Simply watch what you eat and it’s not a bad idea to brush after meals.

Another good idea is to invest in some good mouthwash. When used in conjunction with regularly brushing your teeth then you will be doing yourself a big favour. Don’t forget flossing either – this helps reach the parts of your teeth brushing or mouthwash can’t reach.

However, above all there is no substitute for a good dentist. So make sure you have regular check ups for an expert to assess your levels of oral hygiene at least every six months.

So ensure you keep a recommended brushing and flossing routine, get to your dentists for checks up and above all, look after your teeth. A sensible approach now will pay dividends in the long run!

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