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Dental hygiene
April 26, 2015, 12:32 pm

We have all along known the importance of dental hygiene, but with the smattering of information available, we are left wondering from where to begin, and if one can ever do it the right way.

Appropriate way to brush your teeth: Proper brushing is essential for cleaning teeth and gums effectively. Tilt brush vertically behind the front row of teeth. Make several up and down strokes using the front half of the brush. Place the brush against the biting surface of the teeth and use a gentle back and forth scrubbing motion. Brush the tongue from back to front to remove odor-producing bacteria.

The right toothbrush: Use a toothbrush with soft, nylon, round-ended bristles that will not irritate teeth or damage gums. One of the main things to look for in a toothbrush is its bristles. Most dentists recommend soft bristles, especially for those individuals who have sensitive teeth and gums. Both adults and children should use a toothbrush that has soft bristles.

Toothbrushes with harder bristles are not more effective at removing plaque or stains. Toothbrushes should be replaced about every three months or earlier if the bristles begin to look worn or frayed.

Rinsing mouth after eating: If you do not rinse your mouth after meals, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Food that collects between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums can rot, leaving an unpleasant odor. Dentures that are not cleaned properly after meals can also harbor odor-causing bacteria and food particles.

Bad breath: Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, can contribute to objectionable breath odor. This because, once the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is transferred to the lungs, where it is expelled through our breath. Brushing, flossing and mouthwash will only mask the odor temporarily; these odors will continue until the body eliminates the food.

Dieters need to be aware that they may develop unpleasant breath from infrequent eating. Brush twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque and brush your tongue, too. Once a day, use floss or an inter-dental cleaner to clean between teeth.

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