A good oral hygiene is very important as peridontal disease is a major cause of tooth problem in both adults and children alike. Effective daily oral hygiene is a very important part of one’s general health and well-being. It is also important for overall quality of life. A good oral health is achieved when the teeth and oral cavity are healthy, free from germs and infections. Tooth brushing is an essential part of daily body care routine. Daily brushing and cleaning of the teeth is important as it helps to remove plaque. Failure to remove these plaques causes a build-up of the plaques, which in turn can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Flossing on the other hand is not so popular, but it is believed to be necessary so as to reach trapped food particles which are breeding ground for bacteria, thereby, causing gum disease and tooth decay. Flossing is not just for dislodging food trapped between the teeth, it may also help to reduce gum disease and bad breath by removing plaques that form along the gum line.
Tips for effective tooth brushing.
- Select a soft-bristled toothbrush, the size and shape of which should fit your mouth and allow you to reach all areas easily.
- Brush your teeth twice daily- morning and night, for about two minutes. It is essential to brush your teeth before going to bed, because while sleeping, the level of saliva produced in the mouth drops, thus allowing plaques to stick to the teeth.
- Use a toothpaste approved by the Nigerian Dental Association (NDA).
- Do not rinse your mouth immediately after brushing. It is okay to spit out the excess toothpaste and foam in your mouth after brushing, but rinsing immediately after brushing will wash away the concentrated fluoride in the remaining toothpaste, thus, diluting it and reducing its beneficial effects.
- Never use mouthwash as a substitute for brushing and flossing.
- Endeavour to replace your toothbrush every three months, or sooner, if the bristles are worn. A worn toothbrush won’t clean the teeth effectively.
- See your dentist regularly for proper prevention and treatment of oral disease.
Tips for effective flossing.
- Floss/clean in-between the teeth once a day. Harmful bacteria can still linger between the teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth.
- The best time to floss is before brushing the teeth.
Children below age need to be helped or supervised when brushing their teeth, so as to make sure they don’t swallow toothpaste and their teeth are brushed properly.