Our oral health somehow ends up way down on our to-do lists. It’s reported that nearly 90% of the world’s population will suffer from some form of dental or oral disease in their lifetime. That said, there’s no better time than the present to start looking after your pearly whites. In honour of World Oral Health Day (WOHD), which takes place on 20 March, we share a few tips to help you improve your oral hygiene:
1. Brush longer:
Research conducted by Oral B has shown that most people do not brush their teeth for the recommended time. To prevent cavities, you need to remove plaque from the teeth and the best way to do this is by brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes. Brushing also stimulates the gums, which helps to keep them healthy and prevent gum disease.
2. Brush with less pressure:
Many people believe that the harder they brush their teeth, the better; however, this is not the case. Studies conducted by Oral B shows there’s a limit to the amount of pressure your teeth can take. Harsh brushing is one of the main causes of receding gum lines and sensitivity. Brushing too hard can also damage the protective enamel on your teeth and may cause other oral health problems. If you notice your gums pulling away from your teeth, exposing the root surfaces and causing sensitivity or bleeding, that could be a sign that you need to lighten up. To alleviate the problem, make sure you are using a soft or extra soft toothbrush, and lightly grip the brush so it hits at a 45-degree angle.
3. Brush more thoroughly:
Brushing thoroughly is very important as it stops plaque build-up. You need to concentrate on the corners and crevices to make sure you remove as much plaque and leftover food as possible. I sometimes suggest a power toothbrush as the increased efficiency of the brushing action and the oscillating-rotating technology keeps other oral health problems at bay, helping you to prevent the build-up of tartar, plaque, cavities and gum problems. Investing in an electric toothbrush is also a good way to take care of your teeth and monitor how thoroughly you brush your.
4. Pay as much attention to your tooth health as you do your physical health:
We know all about keeping our bodies in tip top shape, so why is it that so many of us neglect our oral wellbeing? This is especially alarming, considering that gum disease not only affects your oral health, but may also points to health effects of periodontal disease that go well beyond your mouth. Note to self: I’m going to take care of my oral health!
5. Maintain a healthy diet:
Research conducted by Oral B shows that people that eat more sugar have significantly higher levels of tooth decay. Sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and non-nutritious snacks in general have little if any nutritional value, and over time they can take a toll on teeth. When bacteria (plaque) come into contact with sugar in the mouth, acid is produced, and it’s the acids that begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process. The best food choices for the health of your mouth include cheeses, chicken or other meats, nuts, and milk.
6. Floss daily:
It is a step often forgotten because even nowadays, many people think that you can avoid problems only by brushing your teeth regularly. Flossing between your teeth is essential for removing food and dental plaque from your teeth. Flossing is most successful when it is done in conjunction with brushing, so brushing and flossing should not be done in isolation but rather should be done together.
7. Visit your dentist regularly:
Did you know that regular dental visits can help spot oral health problems early on when treatment is likely to be simpler and more affordable? Regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. Most dentists will pay special attention to plaque and tartar. This is because plaque and tartar can build up in a very short time if good oral hygiene is not practiced between visits.
8. Chew sugar-free gum:
Chewing sugar-free gum prevents bad breath and fights tooth decay by washing away the plaque acid resulting in healthier teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates the production of saliva, which neutralises plaque acid from the mouth and helps reduce the risk of dental plaque and tooth decay.
9. Quit Smoking:
Smoking doesn’t really produce tooth decay, or worsen a cavity that is already there. However, smoking generates stains, that can be brownish, and only a thorough tooth cleaning by a dental hygienist can remove them. Smoking is ultimately bad for your gums. If you suffer from gum disease, you are very unlikely to heal if you continue smoking.
10. Avoid oral piercings:
Oral Piercings such as tongue or lip piercings are a no-no for good oral health. Tongue piercings can lead to allergic reactions, infections, nerve damage to the tongue, and gum disease. Tongue piercings or studs can also cause bad breath, as pieces of food can stick to the stud or the stud itself may cause bacteria growth and, therefore, bad breath. Tongue studs also impede the use of tongue cleaners or scrapers.
Top tip! Change your toothbrush every two to three months.
Top tip! Don’t forget to brush your tongue and palate. Rid your mouth of bacteria and say goodbye to bad breath.
Tips by Dr Hoosen from Oral B.
Do you have any oral health tips? Share them below!