Oral (dental) hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth clean and healthy by brushing to prevent gum diseases and tooth decay. Good oral hygiene should start at an earlier age.

  1.  Taking care of teeth helps prevent plaque, which is a clear film of bacteria that sticks to teeth. After eat, bacteria go crazy over the sugar on teeth and break it down into acids that eat away tooth enamel, causing holes called cavities. Plaque also causes gingivitis, which is gum disease that can make your gums red, swollen, and sore. Gums are soft pink tissues in mouth that hold teeth in place.

To teach a child a proper oral care at a young age is an investment in his or her health that will pay lifelong dividends. By taking a good care of their own teeth, one can send a message that maintaining good oral health is actually is of great value.

Following steps MUST be taken to keep teeth healthy:

  • Brush at least twice a day after breakfast and before bedtime. Proper brushing breaks down plaque.
  • Brush all of your teeth. Spend at least 2 or 3 minutes on the teeth along the sides and in the back.
  • Use toothbrush that has soft bristle because such brushes does not cause bruising of gums.
  • Used brush should change after every 3 months.
  • One can use antibacterial mouth rinse on dentist’s recommendation.
  • To get rid of food that’s hidden where toothbrush can’t get it, slip the dental floss between each tooth and along the gum line gently once a day.
  • Also brush your tongue to help keep your breath fresh!

Use of Fluoride Based Toothpaste (Good or Bad) ?

The use of fluoride is controversial in all matters. Some dentist promote fluoride free toothpaste as a safer alternative because high amount of fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis or skeletal fluorosis, which can damage bones and joints; while other says that it is vital to prevent dental caries. All the tooth pastes are not Fluoride based pastes, some are made by the same. If the composition is high in ingredients, those have a greater impact on dental caries. Therefore, the toothpaste should be an American Dental Association (ADA) accepted toothpaste to ensure the right amount of fluoride concentration in toothpaste. More specifically in Pakistan this was controlled by Pakistan Dental Association (PDA).

From above discussion it is concluded that brushing teeth helps prevent tooth decay. Teeth that aren’t cleaned regularly will become home to many bacteria that start to eat the tooth away. In mild cases, this can result in the need for fillings. In more advanced cases, crowns, inlays, or onlays may be needed to partially restore a tooth.

By Dr. Farah Amin

Lecturer | PhD (Analytical Chemistry)