A major factor in maintaining healthy teeth and gums is regular and proper oral hygiene. Clean teeth are healthy teeth.
- Teeth should be brushed twice a day. Do not rush brushing, clean them thoroughly.
- It is important to use the right tools for the job. You should use a fluoride toothpaste and a brush with flat, soft fibres. The head of the brush should not be too big, so that you can reach all of your teeth. Only use an electric toothbrush if you have problems which make it difficult to effectively brush your teeth with an ordinary brush.
- Practice proper technique. The brush should be placed at a 45° angle to your teeth and you should make quick, short, strokes. Do not forget to brush all the surfaces of your teeth.
- Keep your brush clean. After brushing, always rinse out your toothbrush with water. Keep your toothbrush upright.
- Change your brush regularly. It should be replaced every three months, or sooner if the bristles are damaged.
- Use dental floss or an interdental brush. You should clean your teeth once daily with dental floss or an interdental brush.
Oral hygiene can be supplemented with the use of mouthwashes such as Listerine or Ozosept, which kill microbes, inhibit the build-up of plaque and freshen your breath.
To ensure complete oral health, you should visit your dentist regularly and have professional cleaning done once or twice a year. If you notice any of the following symptoms you should contact your dentist:
- Red, swollen gums
- Bleeding gums while brushing teeth
- Receding gums
- Loss of permanent teeth
- Changes in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together
- Increased sensitivity to hot and cold
- Bad breath
Remember, early detection and treatment of problems with teeth and gums ensures good, long-term oral health.
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