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Oral hygiene

Oral hygiene

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Experts recommend that people see a dentist every 6 months for a checkup. During a routine dental examination, a hygienist will clean the teeth and remove plaque and hardened tartar.

The dentist will check for visual signs of cavities, gum disease, mouth cancerand other oral health issues.

They may sometimes also use dental X-rays to check for cavities. The results of a recent study confirmed that children and adolescents should see a dentist every 6 months to help prevent cavities. However, adults who practice good dental hygiene every day and have a low risk of oral health problems may be able to go less frequently.

The authors of a recent review state that there is a need for more high-quality studies to confirm the ideal frequency of dental checkups. People can speak to their dentist about how often they need a checkup. However, anyone who notices changes in their mouth should visit a dentist. The CDC name smoking as a risk factor for gum diseasewhile the ADA warn that people who smoke may experience slow healing after a dental procedure.

Smoking also affects the appearance of the mouth, leading to yellowing of the teeth and tongue, and it can give breath a bad odor.

Some studies indicate that certain mouthwashes can benefit oral health. For example, one review found that mouthwash containing chlorhexidine, an antibacterial ingredient, helps control plaque and gingivitis.

Mouthwashes with certain essential oils are also effective, according to a meta-analysis. People may wish to ask their dentist which is the best mouthwash for their individual needs. A mouthwash cannot substitute brushing and flossing, but it can complement these practices.

Mouthwashes that may help with bad breath and dental problems are available online. Consuming sugar can lead to cavities. Studies continue to highlight the significant role that sugar plays in adverse dental health outcomes. Common culprits include candy and desserts, but many processed foods also contain added sugar.

The WHO recommend that people limit their intake of sugar to below 10 percent of their daily calories. The authors of a systematic review concluded that lowering this to 5 percent would further reduce the risk of cavities and other dental problems.

Experts have also stated that starchy foods, such as crackers, bread, chips, and pasta, can cause tooth decay. The ADA explain that these foods linger in the mouth and break down into simple sugarson which acid-producing bacteria feed.

This acid can cause tooth decay. Instead of starchy foods, the ADA recommend eating plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables as well as dairy products without added sugar.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are the number one source of added sugars in the typical diet of those in the U. Sipping on soda, juice, or other sugary drinks can lead to a higher risk of cavities. The ADA recommend drinking water or unsweetened tea throughout the day and only drinking sugar-sweetened drinks at meal times and in small volumes.

Baby teeth help a child chew and speak. They are placeholders for the future permanent teeth. If a child loses a baby tooth to decay, this can disrupt the space in the mouth and make it difficult for the adult tooth to develop correctly.

With this in mind, it is best to introduce good dental care for children during infancy. Practicing good dental care from infancy to adulthood can help a person keep their teeth and gums healthy. Brushing and flossing daily, not smoking, eating a healthful diet, and having regular dental checkups can help people avoid cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues.

It may also benefit their overall health. What is the secret to teeth and gum care? Correct brushing and flossing, knowing which foods and drinks to eat and to avoid, and attending regular…. People can usually treat minor gum bleeding at home using good oral hygiene and natural remedies.

In this article, we look at 12 ways to stop gums…. Poor oral hygiene can cause dental problems such as cavities and toothache, as well as severe gum disease and oral cancer. Learn more here.

Receding gums can expose the sensitive areas of the teeth, leading to an increased risk of tooth decay. Some remedies may help. Learn more. The salivary glands produce saliva and secrete it into the mouth. Saliva lubricates surfaces in the mouth to help a person chew and swallow their food. My podcast changed me Can 'biological race' explain disparities in health?

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Medical News Today. Health Conditions Health Products Discover Tools Connect. What to do for healthy teeth and gums. Medically reviewed by Christine Frank, DDS — By Jennifer Berry on March 14, Brush regularly Use fluoride Floss See a dentist Not smoking Mouthwash Limit sugars and starches Drink water Tips for kids Summary.

How we vet brands and products Medical News Today only shows you brands and products that we stand behind. Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site.

To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we: Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?

Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence? Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?

We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness. Read more about our vetting process. Was this helpful? Brush regularly but not aggressively.

Share on Pinterest Brushing twice a day and using dental floss can help keep teeth and gums healthy. Use fluoride. Floss once a day. See a dentist regularly.

: Oral hygiene

Oral health is an important part of overall health.

Without treatment, tooth decay or gum problems can lead to pain, problems with self-confidence, and tooth loss. The following are some best practices that can keep teeth and gums healthy. Most people are aware that brushing their teeth twice a day is one of the most important practices for removing plaque and bacteria and keeping teeth clean.

However, brushing may only be effective if people use the correct technique. People should brush using small circular motions, taking care to brush the front, back, and top of every tooth. This process takes between 2 and 3 minutes. People should avoid sawing back-and-forth motions.

Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can damage tooth enamel and the gums. The effects of this may include tooth sensitivity, permanent damage to the protective enamel on the teeth, and gum erosion.

The American Dental Association ADA recommend using a toothbrush that has soft bristles. They also state that people should change their toothbrush every 3 months or when the ends start to look frayed, whichever comes first.

Many experts believe that fluoride helps prevent cavities, and it is a common ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash. Evidence suggests that a lack of fluoride can lead to tooth decay, even if a person takes care of their teeth otherwise. A recent review found that brushing and flossing do not prevent a person from getting cavities if they do not use fluoride.

Many communities in the United States have added fluoride to their water supply. Several organizations recommend this practice , including the World Health Organization WHO , the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC , and the ADA.

People can find out whether the water in their area contains fluoride by contacting their local government. Reverse osmosis water filters remove fluoride, and people who use well water will need to check the fluoride levels in this water to find out how much is present.

Many bottled water brands do not contain fluoride. Flossing can remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth, where a toothbrush is unable to reach.

It can also help prevent bad breath by removing debris and food that has become trapped between the teeth. Although there is a lack of long-term studies proving that flossing is beneficial, the ADA continue to recommend it.

The CDC also state that people should floss their teeth. Most dental health professionals recommend gently pushing the floss all the way down to the gumline before hugging the side of the tooth with up-and-down motions. It is important to avoid snapping the floss up and down between the teeth, which can cause pain and will not remove plaque as effectively.

Experts recommend that people see a dentist every 6 months for a checkup. During a routine dental examination, a hygienist will clean the teeth and remove plaque and hardened tartar. The dentist will check for visual signs of cavities, gum disease, mouth cancer , and other oral health issues.

They may sometimes also use dental X-rays to check for cavities. The results of a recent study confirmed that children and adolescents should see a dentist every 6 months to help prevent cavities. However, adults who practice good dental hygiene every day and have a low risk of oral health problems may be able to go less frequently.

The authors of a recent review state that there is a need for more high-quality studies to confirm the ideal frequency of dental checkups. People can speak to their dentist about how often they need a checkup. However, anyone who notices changes in their mouth should visit a dentist.

The CDC name smoking as a risk factor for gum disease , while the ADA warn that people who smoke may experience slow healing after a dental procedure. Smoking also affects the appearance of the mouth, leading to yellowing of the teeth and tongue, and it can give breath a bad odor.

Some studies indicate that certain mouthwashes can benefit oral health. For example, one review found that mouthwash containing chlorhexidine, an antibacterial ingredient, helps control plaque and gingivitis.

Mouthwashes with certain essential oils are also effective, according to a meta-analysis. People may wish to ask their dentist which is the best mouthwash for their individual needs.

A mouthwash cannot substitute brushing and flossing, but it can complement these practices. Mouthwashes that may help with bad breath and dental problems are available online. Consuming sugar can lead to cavities.

Studies continue to highlight the significant role that sugar plays in adverse dental health outcomes. Common culprits include candy and desserts, but many processed foods also contain added sugar.

The WHO recommend that people limit their intake of sugar to below 10 percent of their daily calories. The authors of a systematic review concluded that lowering this to 5 percent would further reduce the risk of cavities and other dental problems.

Experts have also stated that starchy foods, such as crackers, bread, chips, and pasta, can cause tooth decay.

The ADA explain that these foods linger in the mouth and break down into simple sugars , on which acid-producing bacteria feed.

This acid can cause tooth decay. Instead of starchy foods, the ADA recommend eating plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables as well as dairy products without added sugar. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the number one source of added sugars in the typical diet of those in the U. Sipping on soda, juice, or other sugary drinks can lead to a higher risk of cavities.

The ADA recommend drinking water or unsweetened tea throughout the day and only drinking sugar-sweetened drinks at meal times and in small volumes. Baby teeth help a child chew and speak. They are placeholders for the future permanent teeth. If a child loses a baby tooth to decay, this can disrupt the space in the mouth and make it difficult for the adult tooth to develop correctly.

With this in mind, it is best to introduce good dental care for children during infancy. Practicing good dental care from infancy to adulthood can help a person keep their teeth and gums healthy.

Brushing and flossing daily, not smoking, eating a healthful diet, and having regular dental checkups can help people avoid cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues. It may also benefit their overall health.

What is the secret to teeth and gum care? Download the poster. Oral Health — Good for Life TM. See your dentist regularly Regular dental exams and professional cleanings are the best way to prevent and detect problems before they get worse. Don't wait for a toothache or a dental emergency to look for a dentist.

Ask for recommendations from friends, family, neighbours, or co-workers. If you're moving, ask if your current dentist can refer you to a dentist in your new area. Check out these tips for finding a dentist.

Choose a variety of healthy foods and drinks each day Eat a well-balanced diet. Good nutrition helps build strong teeth and gums. Limit foods and beverages containing sugar, sodium, carbohydrates or saturated fats.

Make water your drink of choice. Limit drinking alcohol. Munch on mouth-healthy snacks like cheeses, nuts, vegetables, and non-acidic fruits. Check your mouth regularly Look for signs of gum disease: Red, shiny, puffy, sore or sensitive gums Bleeding when you brush or floss Bad breath that won't go away.

Look for signs of oral cancer: Bleeding or open sores that don't heal White or red patches Numbness or tingling Small lumps and thickening on the sides or bottom of your tongue, the floor or roof of your mouth, the inside of your cheeks, or on your gums.

Limit alcohol, and avoid smoking, smokeless tobacco and vaping Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Canada. Smoking tobacco can affect the appearance and health of your mouth and gums. Smokeless tobacco "snuff", "spit" or chewing tobacco , is held in the mouth between the teeth and cheek.

By giving up tobacco, you can dramatically reduce your chance of developing a range of health conditions.

Oral Health | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Both types of crowns fill in the gap where your natural tooth appeared. Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings that are placed on the back teeth, or molars , to help prevent cavities. Your dentist may recommend a sealant for your children as soon as they get their first molars, at around age six, and again when they get their second set of molars around age Sealants are easy to apply and completely painless.

You might need a root canal if tooth decay reaches all the way inside the tooth to the nerve. During a root canal, the nerve is removed and replaced with a filling made of a biocompatible material, usually a combination of a rubber-like material called gutta-percha and adhesive cement.

Probiotics are mostly known for their role in digestive health , but new research has shown that the healthy bacteria may be beneficial for your teeth and gums. Probiotics have been shown to prevent plaque and treat bad breath.

They also help to prevent oral cancers and decrease inflammation from gum disease. While large clinical trials are still needed to prove their effectiveness, results to date have been promising.

You can take a probiotic supplement or eat foods high in beneficial bacteria , such as yogurt , kefir , and kimchi. Other popular probiotic foods include sauerkraut , tempeh , and miso. Keeping your mouth healthy is a daily commitment.

A dental hygienist can teach you how to properly take care of your teeth and gums on a daily basis. In addition to brushing and flossing, your daily routine can include mouthwash, oral rinses, and possibly other tools, such as a Waterpik water flosser.

Shop for a water flosser. Oral surgeries are usually performed to treat more serious cases of periodontal disease.

Certain dental surgeries can also be done to replace or fix missing or broken teeth caused by an accident. During a flap surgery, a surgeon makes a small cut in the gum to lift up a section of the tissue.

They then remove tartar and bacteria from underneath the gums. The flap is then stitched back into place around your teeth.

Bone grafting is needed when gum disease causes damage to the bone surrounding the root of your tooth. The dentist replaces the damaged bone with a graft, which can be made from your own bone, a synthetic bone, or a donated bone.

A soft tissue graft is used to treat receding gums. A dentist will remove a small piece of tissue from your mouth or use a donor tissue and attach it to the areas of your gums that are missing.

You may also need a tooth extraction if your wisdom teeth , or third molars, are impacted. One or more of the wisdom teeth will become trapped or impacted when it tries to emerge. A dentist will typically recommend that wisdom teeth be extracted if they cause pain, inflammation, or other problems.

Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth that are lost due to a disease or an accident. An implant is surgically placed into the jawbone.

After the implant is placed, your bones will grow around it. This is called osseointegration. Once this process is complete, your dentist will customize a new artificial tooth for you that matches your other teeth. This artificial tooth is known as a crown.

The new crown is then attached to the implant. A dental bridge is made of two abutment crowns on either side of the gap, which then hold the artificial teeth in between in place. Periodontal disease can eventually break down the bone that supports your teeth.

This can lead to many complications. If left untreated, an infection from a tooth abscess can spread to other parts of your head or neck. It can even lead to sepsis , a life-threatening blood infection.

Good oral health boils down to good general health and common sense. The best ways to prevent oral health problems are to:. Get more tips on preventing oral health problems. Good oral health is especially important to groups such as children, pregnant women, and older adults.

The American Academy of Pediatrics AAP recommends that children start seeing a dentist by their first birthday. Children are highly susceptible to dental cavities and tooth decay, especially those who bottle feed.

Cavities may be caused by too much sugar left on the teeth after bottle feeding. To avoid baby bottle tooth decay , you should do the following:. Baby bottle tooth decay is also known as early childhood caries ECC. Go here to find out more ways you can prevent ECC. According to the American Academy of Periodontology , men are less likely to take good care of their teeth and gums than women.

Compared to women, men are less likely to brush twice per day, floss regularly, and seek preventive dental care. Oral and throat cancer is more common in men. A study showed that men with a history of periodontal disease are 14 percent more likely to develop other types of cancer than men with healthy gums.

Due to changing hormones at various stages of their lives, women are at risk for several oral health issues. When a woman first starts menstruating, she may experience mouth sores or swollen gums during her periods. During pregnancy, increased hormones can affect the amount of saliva produced by the mouth.

Frequent vomiting caused by morning sickness can result in tooth decay. During menopause , lower amounts of estrogen can increase your risk of gum disease.

Some women may also experience a condition called burning mouth syndrome BMS during menopause. Learn about the different dental issues that women face throughout their lives.

This means that people with diabetes have a higher risk of having oral infections, gum disease, and periodontitis. Explore the link between type 2 diabetes and oral health. Your oral health has an effect on more than just your teeth.

Poor oral and dental health can contribute to issues with your self-esteem, speech, or nutrition. They can also affect your comfort and overall quality of life. Many dental and oral problems develop without any symptoms. Seeing a dentist regularly for a checkup and exam is the best way to catch a problem before it gets worse.

Ultimately, your long-term outcome depends on your own efforts. Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

A dental chart, also called a periodontal chart, is where your dental healthcare professional records the condition of your teeth and gums.

Healthy gums are key to maintaining a healthy mouth. Allowing plaque to build-up can cause white spots on the surfaces of the teeth. You can ask your dentist for tips on how to maintain good oral hygiene. If you have clear trays or aligners that are removable, you should always remove your trays before eating or drinking any liquid other than water.

Regardless of whether food is hard or soft, removing your tray before eating helps to ensure effectiveness of your treatment. If you wear dentures, adjusting to what and how you eat can be a major challenge.

When you first get dentures, your mouth and tissue need time to adjust to chewing and biting. Starting with soft foods like soups, smoothies, and applesauce for your first few meals can help make the transition more comfortable. Be mindful of hot dishes and drinks as it can sometimes be difficult to gauge the temperature of your food.

After a couple of days, you can move onto more solid foods as your mouth begins to adjust to the dentures. Take care to avoid hard or sticky food and tough meats which could break or damage your dentures.

Denture-friendly foods include slow-cooked or ground meats, cooked fish, ripe fruits, and cooked vegetables. A good tip is that if you can cut the food with a fork, chances are the food will not damage your dentures.

Dry mouth or xerostomia can make it difficult to talk, chew, and swallow food. Symptoms of dry mouth may include increased thirst, sore mouth and tongue, difficulty swallowing and talking, and changes in taste. Regardless of the cause, you have lots of options for making it easier to eat.

First, ensure that you drink plenty of fluids and sip cold water between meals. Combining solid foods with liquid foods such as yogurt, gravy, sauces, or milk can also help.

You want to avoid foods that are acidic, hot, or spicy as these may irritate your mouth further. Good oral care also plays a key role in alleviating dry mouth and preventing tooth decay, which is a common oral complication of dry mouth. Studies show that poor oral health is linked to heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications, and more, while positive oral health can enhance both mental and overall health.

Good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, combined with a healthy lifestyle and avoiding risks like excess sugar and smoking, help to keep your smile and body healthy. The contents of this website are for educational purposes and are not intended to offer personal medical advice.

You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

The Nutrition Source does not recommend or endorse any products. Skip to content The Nutrition Source. The Nutrition Source Menu.

Search for:. Home Nutrition News What Should I Eat? Oral Health and Nutrition: What You Eat and Drink Affects Your Teeth Just like a healthy body, a healthy smile depends on good nutrition. Is carbonated water a healthy choice for my teeth?

However, not all carbonated waters are created equal. Citrus-flavored waters may have higher acid levels, increasing the risk of damage to tooth enamel.

A good way to help protect your teeth is to drink these in one sitting or with meals. If you prefer drinking it without food, another option is to use a straw to help the water bypass your teeth.

Remember, sparkling waters that have added sugar are sugar-sweetened beverages , which increase your risk of developing tooth decay and other chronic diseases. How snacking can affect your dental health What you eat and how often you eat can affect your teeth.

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth and, unless removed daily, this plaque builds up. Plaque bacteria use sugar from things you eat and drink to make acid that attacks tooth enamel. This is why snacking all day or sipping a sugary drink for a long period of time can lead to tooth decay.

Excess intake of added sugars leads not only to tooth decay but is also associated with other health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. This is because added sugars are often hidden. Learning about where sugar may be hiding and how to identify these added sugars can help you win this game of hide and seek.

Endocarditis and heart disease Infective endocarditis IE , an infection of the inner lining of the heart muscle, can be caused by bacteria that live on teeth. Pregnancy and birth complications Oral health is an important part of prenatal care. A healthy, pain-free mouth can lead to a better state of mind!

Poor oral health may also affect speech, which can cause or contribute to social anxiety. In this way, regular dental exams and professional cleaning not only help support positive oral health but are also vital to overall well-being and good mental health as well. Braces and orthodontic treatments Depending on the type of orthodontic treatment, your braces may have brackets, bands, and wires.

Dentures If you wear dentures, adjusting to what and how you eat can be a major challenge. As the leader of your oral health team, your dentist brings years of specialized education to understanding your oral health.

Only dentists can examine your teeth, gums and mouth, and recognize any problems that could affect your overall health. Learn more about your dental health care team. Your Oral Health. Oral health Common Risk Factors Disease prevention and overall health Oral hygiene Your dentist is your health partner Helpful links Oral health Oral health is part of your overall health.

Risk factors Caring for your teeth requires more than brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly. Disease prevention and overall health Just like other diseases, prevention, early detection and treatment of oral diseases is important to stop any negative effects on the rest of your body.

Oral hygiene Establish and stick to a good oral hygiene routine for a healthy smile that will last you a lifetime. Brush Brush your teeth for minutes, twice a day to help remove food and plaque. Tips: Use a manual or electric toothbrush to brush all areas of your teeth i. the inside, outside and chewing surfaces.

Start gently underneath the gums and move up. Do not rinse with water immediately after brushing. Spit out any excess toothpaste instead. Wait 30 minutes after eating before you brush to avoid damaging your enamel. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months.

Swap out your old, frayed toothbrush for a new one that will clean your teeth and mouth properly. Floss Floss at least once a day , or after snacking.

Tongue Depending on what you eat, your tongue can hold food residue. Oral rinse and fluoride toothpaste As part of your morning oral health routine, swish with an oral rinse also known as mouthwash or a mouth rinse once a day.

Tips: Always use mouthwashes without alcohol which can further dry and damage sensitive tissues. Use a toothpaste with fluoride to help fight tooth decay.

To find the right oral health products for your needs, consult the list of products that have earned the CDA Seal. The CDA Seal helps consumers know which oral health benefit claims made by a manufacturer have been independently reviewed and are supported by scientific evidence Water Choosing healthy drinks is as important as choosing healthy foods.

What to do for healthy teeth and gums American Journal of Dentistry. Was this helpful? Your dentist is your health partner One of the best ways to protect your mouth is by going to the dentist for regular check-ups and dental cleanings. This tool is best used behind the lower front teeth, behind the back molars, crooked teeth and between spaces where teeth have been removed. Journal of the Chinese Medical Association. Sugar fermentable carbohydrates , is converted into acid by the plaque.
Oral health Oral Health. Hytiene, oral hjgiene is hygienw more than cavities and Otal disease. Go Ask Alice! Oral hygiene can Sports recovery fuel your Sports recovery fuel Herbal memory enhancer tips on how to maintain good oral hygiene. Leaving a denture in during sleep reduces the protective cleansing and antibacterial properties of saliva against Candida albicans oral thrush and denture stomatitis; the inflammation and redness of the oral mucosa underneath the denture. Learn about the different dental issues that women face throughout their lives.
Oral hygiene - Wikipedia It can help strengthen the enamel of your tooth and make them more resilient to bacteria and acid. Causes of dental and oral diseases. A word about our mission, vision, values and culture from our CEO and VP of Human Resources Our passion is driven by the values that we use every day to guide our decision-making and interactions with patients, team members, suppliers, and the communities where we live and work. Good oral health helps you enjoy life. This tool is best used behind the lower front teeth, behind the back molars, crooked teeth and between spaces where teeth have been removed. Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can damage tooth enamel and the gums.
Oarl Oral hygiene gygiene we think Sports recovery fuel useful for our readers. Sports recovery fuel you Plant-based metabolic booster through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind. Achieving healthy teeth takes a lifetime of care. This involves getting the right oral care products, as well as being mindful of your daily habits.

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