Poor mouth hygiene can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Discover the tips for improving oral hygiene
One of our most spontaneous expressions, the smile, hides something that if it is in the mouth and that is actually much more visible than one might imagine, namely the teeth.
These very hard organs, anchored under the jaw bone and above that of the jaw, perform different functions, first of all chewing, but also play a fundamental role in speech and social life. While it is true that teeth are essential for chopping food, it is equally true that they are involved in the articulation of words and that they play an important role in communication and therefore in interpersonal relationships.
To take care of your teeth and mouth in general, as well as prevent problems such as caries, gingivitis and periodontitis, it is important to adopt good daily habits. Here's what to do to improve your oral hygiene.
- Oral hygiene: what it is
- Tips for good oral hygiene
- How to improve oral hygiene
Oral hygiene: what it is
The mouth, just like all other parts of our body, needs care and attention. Speaking of the oral cavity, however, we are not referring only to the teeth, but also to the other components such as:
- gums (the pink colored mucosa around the teeth);
- soft palate;
- hard palate;
- salivary glands that produce saliva;
Each of these parts needs a good cleaning to best preserve their functionality and stay healthy. And this is where oral hygiene comes into play, a simple but essential operation to prevent disorders and diseases of the oral cavity and at the same time ensure good functionality of the teeth.
Oral hygiene consists in carrying out a thorough cleaning of the mouth (teeth, gums, tongue) every day, preferably after each main meal, using simple but functional tools such as:
- dental floss.
To have good results it is necessary to perform specific movements with the toothbrush and follow some useful precautions to avoid the accumulation of plaque (or that thin film containing the bacteria that naturally settle on the surface of the teeth) and thus prevent the formation of caries – a destructive process of the tooth due to the harmful action of bacteria – and tartar (the latter is an accumulation of "old plaque" with a high content of pathogenic bacteria, which can only be removed by the dentist). This type of cleaning, carried out at home, allows you to eliminate food residues and counteract the proliferation of "bad" bacteria that live in the mouth.
Just as in the intestine, in fact, a multitude of microorganisms live in the oral cavity including viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa. There are over 300 species of bacteria alone that reside in the mouth, such as the families of lactobacilli and streptococci. The latter in particular is among the most harmful to the health of the oral cavity, as – following the consumption of carbohydrates – it produces a patina that tends to stick to the teeth and also attract other bacteria present in the mouth, favoring the establishment colonies that feed on sugars and produce acid waste, which is harmful to the health of the teeth.
In the absence of appropriate hygiene maneuvers, in fact, these bacterial colonies form a scaffold (the so-called muco-bacterial plaque) that prevents saliva from reaching the tooth surface, washing away the number of excess bacteria and diluting the acids produced by them. , preparing the ground for a corrosion of the enamel which leads to the formation of caries.
For this reason, as also recommended by the Ministry of Health, it is essential to brush your teeth after each meal (at least 3 times a day) with toothpaste and a toothbrush. For a more thorough cleaning and to prevent the onset of some cavities or identify pathologies not visible to the naked eye, however, it is advisable to carry out a periodic specialist check-up at your dentist.
Tips for good oral hygiene
To have a well-groomed and smile-proof mouth, therefore, it is essential to carry out a good cleaning. It is a daily habit that helps prevent those ailments and pathologies that undermine the health of the oral cavity. Here are some practical tips for good oral hygiene:
- make sure you have all the tools you need for cleaning your teeth with you, i.e. a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss;
- brush your teeth after each meal for about 2-3 minutes, taking care to clean one dental arch at a time;
- it is preferable to use a toothbrush with a head that is not too large to allow you to reach the back of your mouth with agility;
- better to use a fluoride-based toothpaste to protect the tooth enamel from the demineralizing action of bacteria plaque acids. In addition, it also makes them more resistant;
- it is good to pass the toothbrush also on the tongue and gums avoiding to apply pressure so as not to cause irritation;
- to eliminate food residues between one tooth and another, the advice is to use dental floss once a day. The toothbrush, especially the manual one, cannot reach these narrower and narrower spaces and the risk of something getting stuck is very high;
- change the toothbrush approximately every 2 months or as soon as you notice damaged or enlarged bristles.
For a deeper cleaning of teeth and gums it may be useful to opt for an electric toothbrush. This type of product, which has been on the market for some time now, has won over dentists and consumers for the effectiveness of the results and the ease of use. In addition to cleaning the interdental spaces better, it removes plaque thoroughly. The decisive element of the electric toothbrush is represented by the rounded head which, by wrapping each tooth, is able to clean it through rapid and small oscillations that remove plaque even in the places where a manual toothbrush cannot reach.
Click here to discover the electric toothbrush with magnetic technology for professional cleaning
How to improve oral hygiene
Brushing your teeth properly after every meal is essential, but it's not enough. There are also other actions we can take to improve oral hygiene. A fundamental role in the good health of the mouth is played by nutrition. The foods we consume, in fact, first of all pass through the mouth, where they are reduced to pulp thanks to the support of saliva. As a result, they come into contact with teeth, gums and everything else in the mouth.
Eating specific foods rather than others can decrease or increase the chances of bacterial plaque formation. For example, a balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables containing vitamins and mineral salts (functional to healthy teeth), limits the development of plaque. On the contrary, complex foods such as baked goods, sweets and in general foods with a high sugar content have the opposite effect.
Finally, to complete the routine for cleaning the teeth, do not forget to combine all these tips with periodic visits to the dentist. In fact, the specialist can carry out a professional cleaning of the teeth, eliminating the tartar formed in the areas not reached by the toothbrush. At the same time, thanks to the state-of-the-art tools at its disposal, it can carry out an accurate check by identifying any pathologies in the bud.
Taking care of your teeth is therefore essential to prevent annoying disorders of the oral cavity. Just be consistent and use the necessary tools in the right way.