I visited the Old People’s Home recently to give some medical aid. It was really a fulfilling time spent with them. However, I observed with consternation that many of them had very poor oral health. One actually smiled at me widely and I nearly jumped out of my seat. It was quite a sight to behold.
In my heart, I concluded I didn’t want my teeth to be this bad when I am at their age. Your teeth and oral hygiene generally can enhance or degrade your personality. You cannot afford to neglect those 32 little structures in your mouth.
Taking good care of your teeth will help you live a long life. For you to keep your teeth healthy, it is important to have a good dental hygiene early in life and be consistent as you age.. We see those beautiful ladies and handsome men in toothpaste commercials. We aspire to have that sparkling white teeth that people admire a lot. Nothing beats a good set of healthy looking teeth with a fresh breath.
So how can one maintain a good oral routine?
From childhood, we have always known that it is important to clean our teeth daily. Most people think it is a straightforward process but many still do it wrongly. First, the frequency at which you brush should be at least twice a day for at least two to three minutes. Don’t be so much in a hurry and at the same time don’t spend so long brushing your teeth. Use soft bristled brushes. If your brush is too hard or you brush for too long, you stand the risk of exposing the sensitive part of your teeth. Brush in a circular motion not back and forth. Lastly, replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Its not healthy to keep using your toothbrush for years unending.
I must confess, I have been hearing of this but didn’t take it too seriously until recently. Most people generally have no idea what it is. Even those who do know are usually reluctant to practice it. A floss is a cord or string of thin filaments. It is usually thin enough to go in between each tooth. Just using only your brush might not take out all thefood particles trapped between your teeth. This is where the floss comes in. It is recommended that you floss once every day. At first, you might be a bit clumsy using it and your gums might bleed. Don’t panic, it will stop after a few days. You can watch YouTube videos demonstrating the proper techniques of flossing. Flossing can remove those harmful substances that harden to plaques on your teeth. It can reduce your chances of tooth decay and tooth loss.
Taking lots of sugar-containing fluids may make your teeth prone to decay. Excess sugar can erode the enamel of your teeth making it to easily have cavities(holes). Alcohol also can have a deleterious effect on your teeth. These drinks also promote the growth of bacteria which produces acids that can damage your teeth over a long time. If you have to take theses drinks, it is advisable to use a straw. This will prevent your teeth being in constant contact with your teeth. Make sure you rinse your mouth afterwards. Brush your teeth at least half an hour after you take such sugary drinks.
The kind of food you eat can also affect the state of your teeth. Some foods contain strong acids which can erode your teeth if you take them too often. This is especially important in those who have sensitive teeth. Acidic foods like lemon, grapefruits should be taken minimally. Eat a balanced diet. Calcium containing foods are good for the teeth. If you have sensitive teeth, foods like spinach and banana could give you some relief.
Quit smoking as it can increase your chance for gum disease. It can also greatly discolour your teeth.
I really wonder how many schedule dental appointments on a regular basis. We usually wait until we have serious issues before we see one. It is recommended that you see a dentist at least once a year. I do mine regularly and it is really a nice experience. Forget those stories that paint a scary picture when on a dental chair.
During such visits, the dentist will inspect your teeth, scrape out plaques and polish them. I guarantee you will like your smile when you step out of the office. Who knows? You might be selected for the next toothpaste commercial in your neighbourhood.