You wake up in the morning and you take out a clean bowl out of the cabinet, do your breakfast and place it in a corner without washing it. Now you take the same bowl from the corner and you reuse it to eat your lunch. Then for dinner, you used the exact same bowl. So after eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with the exact same bowl without washing it, would you wake up the next morning and use the same dirty bowl that was used a day before? Because that is what you do when you do not brush your teeth after every meal because your mouth is your bowl. If you keep your refrigerator at 40 degrees, what you think happens in your mouth because the normal body temperature is 98 degrees?
Lack of good brushing and flossing can lead to periodontal disease or teeth loss. You could develop health problems like periodontal disease, heart attacks and even strokes. Also, bacteria from periodontal disease have also been found in the plaques that clog arteries of people with heart disease. Bacteria set in plaque and platelets causing blockage and blood clots to form which lead to heart attacks. Another bad effect of not taking care of your mouth is cancer. Did you know that there are studies which show connection between poor oral hygiene and certain forms of cancer involving the head and the neck? Also poor brushing habits, tooth decay, missing teeth and periodontal diseases show increasing the risk of developing cancers. Signs that you should look for if you are not brushing and flossing properly are red, swollen or tender gums, gums that have been pulled away from your teeth, persistent bad breath, pus between the gums and teeth, loose and separating teeth and a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite. Tooth decay is an upstanding chronic disease that involves children and adults even though it is largely preventable.
Here are some ways you can take care of your oral hygiene and prevent the chronic disease of tooth decay.
-Maintain good oral health by properly flossing and brushing, using mouthwash like Listerine etc and last you must visit your dentist regularly to have your mouth examined every six months.
-Drink water that has fluoride in it
-Use fluoride toothpaste
-Take care of your gums and your teeth
-Eat wisely. Avoid snacks that has sugar and limit the number of snacks throughout the day
-Avoid tobacco and heavy alcohol intake
In reality, almost any toothbrush you feel comfortable using works well. The only thing that matters is that the technique which you follow to brush your teeth and how frequently you brush your teeth. Most of us brush less than a minute, but to effectively reach all areas and scrub off cavity-causing bacteria, it is recommended to brush for two to three minutes.
In general, a toothbrush head should be small and narrow for easy access to all areas of the mouth, teeth and gums. It should have a long, wide and flexible handle for a firm grasp and which does not put too much pressure while brushing. It should have soft nylon bristles with rounded ends so you won't hurt your gums.
Brushing should be done in vibratory motion and not in sliding motion which wears away the enamel layer. Brush your teeth at the junction of teeth and gums. Use circular motions for front teeth and keep your toothbrush vertical to clean the inside surfaces of front teeth.
Visit Dr. H. Peter Ku, D.D.S., PA regularly because tooth brushing and flossing is most effective with periodic checkups and cleanings.