The WHO data about dental health is saddening. Almost 100 percent of adults have at least one cavity; 30% of the elderly population has lost all its natural teeth; 60 to 90 percent of school goers have at least one dental cavity; around 40 percent of middle-aged adults have severe gum disease.
Gum disease, dental cavities, losing natural teeth, and even oral cancer can all result from a lack of knowledge about proper dental care.
So let’s take a look at how to take care of your teeth so you can save yourself from all the terrible diseases above.
The proper brushing technique
This is the first step. Many people know the importance of brushing but an outrageous percentage has an outrageous brushing technique.
Getting rid of the classic back-and-forth brushing motion and adopting circular, tooth-wide strokes is the most basic thing you can do to improve your brushing technique. Other changes you need to make include covering all surfaces of your teeth — the one that shows, the top of the molars, and the one that faces your tongue.
Brushing the inner surface of your teeth is especially important. Many people miss out on this, which makes this the favorite site for plaque. If you’ve already got plaque in this area, it’s too late for brushing now and you’ll need to visit Australian Dental Specialists for cleaning.
Using the right toothbrush and changing it frequently are also important parts of the proper brushing technique. Research shows that males are especially lazy about replacing their toothbrush every three months, so boys, you need to up your game. The right toothbrush is small enough to reach all areas of your mouth and made up of soft bristles.
Hard bristles can damage teeth and gums, leading to problems like gum bleeding and teeth sensitivity. But even a soft-bristled toothbrush can do that if you brush using too much force. So brushing gently is another important part of the proper brushing technique.
Take a holistic approach
Taking a holistic approach when trying to take good care of your teeth is useful because our bodies are highly interconnected, and disease in one organ affects other organs in complex, esoteric ways.
So many health conditions affect dental health that the topic would take an entire blog post of its own. But for starters, GERD (or acidity) is a relatively common condition that’s harmful to your teeth. The acid reflux not only damages the enamel of your teeth but also causes chronic periodontitis, which is basically gum inflammation.
And since GERD is easy to treat, you must seek treatment and adhere to it if you suffer from heartburn — you’ll be doing your teeth (and your esophagus) a favor.
Obesity is a risk factor for GERD, so losing weight is one good way to deal with it. But obesity is also directly linked to dental disease (periodontitis, specifically). That’s because fat cells produce molecules that cause inflammation and damage to gums. So when you deal with obesity, you kill two birds with one stone (and those birds are bad gums!).
Finally, increased blood pressure (and some blood pressure medications), diabetes, and lung diseases like COPD are all linked to gum disease. So keeping blood pressure under control (and talking to your doctor about gum-sparing hypertension medicines like ACE inhibitors), modifying your lifestyle to control diabetes, and giving up on smoking are all essential parts of good dental care!
Respect the floss because it’s the boss!
Flossing is more difficult than brushing, which is why many people don’t give it the importance it deserves. If you’re brushing regularly and ignoring the floss, your teeth are very likely to go bad (as well as your breath).
Brushing can’t reach the space between your teeth, which is why you must complement it with flossing.
And we get it, it’s difficult, especially if you’re just starting out or suffer from joint pain. Giving it up is the worst thing you can do if you find flossing difficult. Most people suggest keeping at it and your technique will improve. And flossing with a poor technique is far better than not flossing at all!