Oral health is essential for maintaining the overall health and quality of life. According to the WHO, worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities. The major causes for oral diseases include poor oral hygiene, unhealthy diet, chewing tobacco etc. Maintaining a low level of fluoride in the oral cavity can help in preventing dental cavities.
Diseases and problems caused due to poor dental health:
- Tooth decay
- Dental abscess
- Stained and discoloured teeth
- Receding gums
- Gingival Hyperplasia
Visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups can help to recognize symptoms or conditions of poor dental health. Your dentist will probe your teeth and gums for any signs of decay or disease and provide an appropriate treatment to cure the existing condition and prevent further spread of the disease. Daily care and oral hygiene is as important as regular visits to a dentist.
Regular brushing and flossing prevents decay and other dental health issues
Brush your teeth twice a day, preferably after meals, using a small headed soft toothbrush. Brushing should be done in small circular motions. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months. A dental floss can be used to clean between the teeth and remove any food particles stuck there. A toothpick can be used to clean areas where your toothbrush does not reach. This will keep your teeth clean and prevent any food particles from assimilating between them. However, while cleaning your teeth, make sure you brush gently, without abusing or causing harm to the gums.
Food items that promote good dental health
Foods rich in calcium and phosphorous (dairy products, nuts, yoghurt, cheese, fish, sesame seeds) are good for your dental health. They strengthen the teeth and keep the enamel from depleting. Eating crunchy food items like celery and carrots increases the saliva and helps to keep the mouth clean. The Indian gooseberry (Amla) is extremely good for dental health. Chewing gooseberry not only strengthens the gums and teeth but also cleans the mouth and removes bad breath.
Things to avoid in order to maintain good dental health
There are a few drinks and beverages like colas, red wine, curry, tea and coffee that should be avoided, as they tend to stain your teeth. Avoid consuming foods that have high sugar content. They stick to your teeth and promote growth of bacteria. If you do consume these products make sure you either brush, gargle or chew a sugar free gum afterwards.
Chewing tobacco and smoking is extremely bad for your dental health. They can not only cause cancer but also be the reasons behind many other oral problems like tooth depletion, stains, oral sores and bad breath.