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What are some of the oral hygiene best practices?

Posted on October 20, 2021

What are some of the oral hygiene best practices?

Kelton’s research correctly says that the look of your teeth greatly constitutes the first impression people have on you. And that most people with healthy teeth are considered smarter, successful and are perceived to have more dates than those with crooked teeth.

In other words, your teeth is the window of the health of your body, but having crooked teeth, bad breath, bleeding gum may hinder you from having a healthy life. Remember, most of your health problems become more apparent through your mouth.

And how’s that?

Simple, your mouth has over seven hundred bacterial species that, if not controlled, would be severe effects on your dental health. Therefore, you can only do one crucial thing to your health: maintain healthy oral hygiene.

But don’t worry; we are here to help you maintain good oral or dental health. To do that, we have outlined several oral hygiene best practices you need to consider for improved breath, decent feeling. Plus, what would help keep you off oral disease.

But first, let’s get more insight into oral and dental health.

Understanding oral hygiene.

Achieving a healthy oral is a lifetime task, and everything you do to your teeth, eat or drink can have some impacts on your oral health. So there are so many things you have to watch out for clean dental and oral health.

So what’s oral hygiene?

Oral hygiene refers to the practices you do to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy and clean from diseases, infections, and bad breath.

Relatively, oral hygiene starts from getting the right dental products and minding your habits to your choice of foods and drinks you take.

For instance, some foods and drinks have too much sugar and acids that may cause severe effects on your teeth health. That’s why maintaining oral health is significant otherwise, you risk several dental conditions.

But how do you know you have bad oral hygiene?

Sometimes you don’t need to experience severe symptoms for you to visit your doctor. You should be in a position to identify early warnings before things worsen to severe dental diseases.

The following can be indications of future dental issues:

  • Pain/toothache or pain while chewing and biting
  • Swelling on the cheeks and face
  • The clicking of the jaw
  • Bad breath and receding gums
  • Sudden sensitivity to cold or hot to beverages or temperatures
  • Swollen and bleeding gums after flossing or brushing
  • Sores, ulcers, or tenderness in the mouth
  • Broken teeth
  • Having a frequent dry mouth

Some of the above warning signs would result from your daily activities. Like earlier mentioned, you can be the reason for the above signs of unhealthy oral hygiene.

Let’s discuss the how part before we could discuss more on the dental or oral conditions

General causes of dental conditions.

Your mouth or oral cavity has different sorts of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Some of them are in a symbiotic relationship—a relationship where both the bacteria and dental cavity mutually coexist. Most of the bacteria are generally harmless in small quantities but can be dangerous in large amounts.

Apart from the bacterial, viral, and fungal causes, some of the factors that would contribute to your unhealthy oral hygiene include:

From the indicators and causes of teeth conditions, you realize that so much happens to your teeth. So if you don’t take care of your oral cavity, you’ll be in for several dental diseases.

So, what are the types of dental and oral diseases?

Here are some of the dental and oral conditions you must watch out

Poor hygiene can lead to several conditions such as gum disease, dental cavities, and sometimes been linked to cancer, diabetes, and heart conditions.

  1. Cavities/tooth decay

Do you have some tiny holes in your teeth? If yes then, you probably have cavities. Also known as tooth decay, cavities are damaged areas on or around your teeth that result in holes. And it’s among the most common teeth problems that affect different individuals.

What causes cavities?

Several factors cause tooth decay. Included are:

  • Sticky bacteria in your mouth- plaque
  • Not brushing or cleaning your teeth and mouth
  • Frequent snacking and sipping of sugary drinks- The bacteria in your mouth would feed on the sugary substances destroying the protecting layer of your teeth, leading to the decay of the teeth. This would require tooth filling otherwise plucked out.

So how would you know you have tooth decay? Watch for the following signs:

  • Pain while biting
  • Pain that occurs spontaneously without cause
  • Tooth sensitivity to different temperatures
  • When you see visible pits and holes in your teeth
  • Having black or brown staining on the surface of your teeth.
  • Gum disease

How often do your gums bleed? Or do you experience your gum pulling away from your teeth? If you notice such experiences, then you might be having gum disease, also known as gingivitis.

So what is gingivitis/ gum disease?

This is the inflammation of the gums, which is usually a result of plague accumulating or building upon or between your teeth. The inflammation can bleed when you brush or during flossing. If gingivitis is not treated, it can lead to more severe conditions like periodontics, shifted or loss of teeth, and more infections.

If you’re wondering how you can identify you have gum disease, then here are some of the significant signs:

  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing- a sign that your gum is weak
  • Swollen, tender, and red gums
  • Bad breathe despite you maintaining your oral hygiene
  • Pus development- if you start noticing some pus around the base of your teeth, you should consider visiting your dentist for treatment.
  • Loose teeth- and healthy teeth should be tight at the base, and any loose ones could be signs of periodontal condition. Never take it lightly, so find the proper treatment or replacement in time.
  • Cracked or broken teeth

There are so many reasons why you may have cracked or broken teeth. Some may be due to:

  • Accidents and injury to the mouth, among other blows to the mouth
  • Biting and chewing hard foods
  • The pressure from grinding your teeth
  • Some teeth would crack with age, like those over 50 years would experience snapping teeth.

What signs would indicate you have a cracked tooth?

You will experience:

  • Sensitivity to cold, heat, and sweetness
  • Simultaneous pain and swelling of the gum
  • Pain when you’re chewing or biting foods.

Your teeth may crack and appear in different forms.

Here are some of the types of cracked teeth:

Fractured cusps are most common in those who have done dental filling, and it occurs around the filled teeth. However, you may not realize it because it won’t cause you pain as it doesn’t affect the soft center where there are nerves and connective tissues or blood vessels.

Craze lines– these are microscopic cracks on the strong outers part of your teeth (enamel). The best part is that craze lines may not require treatment since they don’t cause any pain.

Split teeth– this is when you have a tooth with a crack from the top surface to the bottom of the gum. Actually, some would even separate into two parts. In such a case, you’ll have to remove the entire teeth.

You may also crack that extends into your gum line- for example; you can be a vertical root fracture that reaches the gum. Once the crack runs the gum, please ensure you extract it out or provide prompt treatment.

  • <h3>Sensitive teeth h3>

Do your teeth react to cold or heat? Or do you always feel irritated, discomfort or pain while biting an ice cream? If yes, then maybe the only one. Pain or discomfort may be a result of you having a tooth cavity or decay.

Of course, ice cream should be sweet or good but not to make you wince every time you make a bit. If it’s growing more common, you should seek the doctor’s intervention because you may have fractured teeth, exposed roots, or a worn-out enamel that needs filling.

  • Bad breath

What can be more embarrassing than being unable to contribute in any discussion where people are sharing ideas because your bad smell turns off others around you?

Also known as halitosis, bad breath is the unbearable and unpleasant smell that comes out of a person’s mouth. Sadly, it’s a common problem for most people of all ages. It can sometimes be considered a sign of other dental diseases, but that’s not the case in all situations. In fact, even healthy people would experience bad breath.

So what are the causes of bad breath?

Many factors constitute bad breathe, from foods you take and poor hygiene to diseases.

Here is more to the causes:

The food you eat– some foods like curry, garlic, fish, onions, and some acidic beverages may have some lingering smell/odors. However, most would be for a short time. Also, some of the foods would stick to your teeth, facilitating the growth of bacteria or forming dental plagues. The plague will then result in bad breath if you don’t regularly brush.

Tobacco products– when you smoke or chew tobacco, some chemicals are left in your mouth, causing an unpleasant smell.

Poor oral hygiene– everything from infections, bacteria, and viruses to food particles would revolve around your level of dental hygiene. For example, when you don’t brush and floss after every meal, you will accumulate plague in your mouth, leading to periodontal disease.

You may also have bad breath as a result of other health problems. For instance, sinus infections may lead to yellowish nasal discharge that may produce unpleasant odors or bad breath. Other health problems that may lead to bad breath can be pneumonia, sore throats, and other throat infections.

Here are other causes of bad breath:

  • Allergies and the medications used in treating allergies
  • Dry mouth, mainly when the body does not produce enough saliva to help moisten and clean the mouth.
  • Oral cancer.

This is another oral or dental condition that can target several parts of your mouth, from the throat, tongue, gums, lips, and cheeks to the floor of your mouth or the soft and hard palate.

Most oral cancer would manifest as swollen or tingling sores with white or red patches or surfaces. Here are other signs and symptoms of oral cancer:

  • A scratchy throat that makes it hard to swallow
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Bleeding in the affected areas
  • White or red white ulcers that aren’t disappearing soon

There are high chances that oral cancer may go unnoticed for a while, especially if you don’t make a habit of going for regular checkups after every six months. Therefore, anytime you go for a dental checkup, please ensure you include cancer screenings so that you start early medications and treatment.

From the above-mentioned dental and oral conditions, you’ll realize most of them are preventable and avoidable when you can deploy oral hygiene best practices. So what oral and dental procedures should you consider for quality dental care?

Oral hygiene best practices you need to consider.

Besides, your dental care should be your life task. So how best can you help prevent dental and oral diseases or conditions?

  1. Brush regularly

Your oral health start with keeping your teeth clean anytime, if possible, after every meal and ensuring you don’t go to sleep without brushing. I’m aware most people are obsessed with brushing their teeth twice a day, as the generation recommendation dictates.

However, no one bars you from brushing after you have a meal, no matter what time, and you can even brush even before you attend to your bed. This would help remove all the plagues and germs that might have accumulated the whole day on your gums and cavities. Thus save off any possible cause of dental conditions due to plague and germs accumulation.

Therefore, you should ensure you regularly brush while following the correct brushing techniques covering your entire mouth.

While brushing, ensure you use fluoride substances or toothpaste with a soft toothbrush to clean your mouth. Of course, there are several versions of toothpaste. Still, no matter the type you choose, ensure it contains some fluoride content.

And whys that?

Fluoride ensures healthy and robust teeth while preventing cavities and tooth decays. In addition, it helps fight germs and bacteria that would cause decay and providing a protective layer to your enamel, among other benefits of fluorides in maintaining healthy dental care.  

Some researches have shown that fluoride remains the mainstay in oral and dental health. And that lack of fluoride would lead to tooth decay, and even brushing won’t bring you healthy teeth if you don’t use fluoride. Therefore, make it a habit of regularly brushing using fluoride toothpaste.

In addition to brushing with fluorides:

Consider rinsing with mouth wash  

Some studies indicate that mouth wash is beneficial to one’s dental health. Some have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, Listerine Antiseptic and chlorhexidine, among others. In addition, they help control and fights plaque and gingivitis. Therefore mouth ensures your oral is free of bacteria.

During mouth washing, you can also ensure you can gargle with salt water. Rising with saltwater would provide no chance for bacteria to thrive in your mouths. How’s that? Like earlier mentioned, your mouth is a thriving den for bacteria and other micro-organisms. Some of the bacteria would feed on sugar substances you take and, in the process, produce acid.

Now, salt being a neutralizer would help maintain your mouth‘s pH by neutralizing the acids, which provides a breeding place for bacteria.

  • Limit your sugary and acidic foods intake

What you eat matters and can help build or destroy your dental hygiene. In other words, there are some foods that, when you take, would destroy your teeth. And among them are sugary and starchy foods like chips, pasta, crackers, and bread that can cause tooth decay.

Such foods would be converted into simple sugars that are breeding places for bacteria. This may harm your teeth. The World Health Organization recommends that both adults and children ensure they reduce their sugar consumption or intake by 10%.

Typically, most starchy or sugary foods are converted into acid, which can erode your teeth’ had surfaced, leading to cavities. Therefore, you should ensure you avoid any acidic fruits, coffee or tea as they would cause wearing of your enamel.

Instead of taking acidic, sugary, and starchy, the most dentist would recommend you take plenty of foods rich in fiber and vegetables. So why take fiber and vegetables?

According to the American Dental Association, fiber-rich foods would help keep your gums and teeth clean as they get saliva flowing, reducing any acid and enzyme that affects your teeth. Also, your saliva has some phosphate and calcium contents that help restore minerals to teeth that have lost salts to bacteria. Thus, they become your best natural defense against gums and cavities.

  • Stop and quit smoking

There are higher chances of those who smoke developing several dental health complications like gum problems, tooth loss, and oral cancer, among other effects.

Here is how smoking would affect your teeth and dental health:

Smoking causes gum disease- smoking tobacco products will cause infections that would destroy your bone surrounding. And loosens the attachment of your bone and soft tissues of your teeth, thus weak gum.  In other words, smoking affects the normal functioning of the gum and teeth tissues.

Once the gums are loose, there would be high chances of developing plague that may result in tooth decay in cases of vertical cracks or fractured cusps

  • Floss once a day

In addition to brushing twice a day, you should also practice the habit of flossing once a day to help remove bacteria and plaque between your teeth, plus those parts that the brush can’t reach. Flossing would also help prevent bad breath due to accumulated debris trapped in your teeth.

Here are some tips for effective flossing

When you floss, ensure you:

Be gentle- you don’t want to cause another problem in solving one. So that you don’t interfere with your gums, you must ensure you’re very gentle, especially when floss reaches around your gum.

Also, handle a tooth at a time. To effectively remove all the plagues and bacteria from between your teeth, you have to rub both sides of the tooth gently. And then do the same for the entire teeth.

  • Regularly visit your dentist

There is a recommendation that you visit your dentist after every six months for a checkup. During your visits, your doctor would conduct a dental routine, clean your teeth, remove any plagues, and check for any signs of any dental and oral condition.

Should they notice signs of cavities, gums, oral cancer, and other conditions, they would provide appropriate assistance. Your doctor can also help identify any teeth that need filling, replacement, and ones that require cleaning.


Practicing good oral hygiene should start from infancy to adulthood. All the time, you must ensure your dental care is your priority. Ensure your brush your teeth daily and after every meal to remove food particles that may cause plaques. Limit your sugary, acidic starchy foods because they provide a breeding home for bacteria.

Furthermore, it would be better to stop or quit smoking. Plus, go for regular dental checkups to ensure that you have any developing gum, cavities, tooth decays, cracked teeth, and bad breath. Finally, deploying oral best practices would help you prevent and control oral cancer, among other dental and oral conditions.