What does Dental Hygiene involve?

A dental hygiene routine can include the following:

  • Brushing the teeth
  • Flossing
  • Using an antiseptic mouthwash
  • Dental clean such as a ‘scale and polish’
  • Healthy diet which is low in sugar
  • Using fluoride
  • Visiting the dentist every 6 months

Brushing the teeth after every meal or twice a day can help to clean them as well as preventing the build up of plaque and tartar.

Plaque is a sticky bacterial substance which forms on the teeth. It can attack the enamel (outer surface) of the teeth and lead to tooth decay.

Tartar is a hardened yellow or brown mineral deposit which forms as a result of the build up of plaque.

Regular brushing can stop these from developing as well as ensuring that your teeth stay nice and white. A good toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste are all that’s required although dental flossing can be a useful addition.

The question is what type of toothbrush to use? Do you opt for the traditional manual toothbrush or do you fancy the more modern electric variety?

To learn more about this visit our section on Teeth Brushing. This section contains information on the best way to brush the teeth as well as the types of toothbrushes available.

Dental flossing is a very good way of removing any food deposits that have built up between the teeth. Brushing the teeth removes plaque from the surface of the teeth but flossing is the only way of removing it from between the teeth. It takes the form of either a soft thread or plastic ribbon and is pulled inside the teeth to remove particles of food.

Our section on hygiene products contains more information about dental floss.

Antiseptic mouthwashes such as Listerine are useful in that they can help to swill away any remaining food deposits. Plus some mouthwashes contain an anti-bacterial agent which reduces the risk of gum disease as well as reducing bad breath.

To learn more about mouthwashes, visit our hygiene products section.

A dental clean is a professional service offered by either your dentist or a dental hygienist. It can take the form of a ‘scale and polish’ – which you may already be familiar with. This involves the scraping of plaque and/or tartar from the teeth before polishing them. Fluoride may be applied at the same teeth as a means of extra protection.

Our General Dentistry section contains more information about dental cleaning. Or visit our hygiene products section to find out more about fluoride treatments.

A balanced diet is good for both your dental and general health. We have all become aware of the importance of healthy eating and what foods to choose and which to avoid. It is, however, unfortunate that the foods we enjoy such as cakes, sweets and biscuits are damaging to our teeth as well as being bad for us in general.

These and other similar types of foods have a high sugar content which even though they taste great produce acids which can damage the teeth. Nearly all of our food contains sugar but it can help if you reduce your consumption of these to a once in a while ‘treat’. If you do eat or drink any high sugar foods then remember to brush your teeth afterwards.

And finally, don’t forget to visit your dentist. Your dentist will advise you to visit him/her every six months so that he or she can check the state of your teeth and gums. This is important as it means that he/she can spot any potential dental problems early on and treat them. Your dentist will also offer help and advice about dental hygiene.

All of these can help to keep your teeth and gums in tip top condition. It can help to adopt some sort of routine, such as brushing your teeth first thing in the morning and at night.

If you are worried about the cost then you will find that it is relatively inexpensive to look after your teeth. A toothbrush or dental floss doesn’t cost that much and if you cut down on the sugary snacks then you will actually save money! And, you will also become fitter and healthier into the bargain.

Dental Hygiene Index:

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