Mastering Oral Hygiene: Defeating Dental Plaque and Bad Breath
Oral health concerns like dental plaque affect millions of people worldwide. While they may seem like minor issues, they can lead to more serious dental problems if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are effective ways to deal with these common issues through good oral hygiene practices and lifestyle changes. Let’s begin by understanding what these issues are.
Food particles, bacteria, carbohydrates, acids, and saliva all combine to form a soft, sticky film on the teeth merely after 20 minutes of eating. This is dental plaque. The development of plaque on the teeth is unavoidable. This is because our food is used by the bacteria that inhabit our mouths to grow and thrive. These bacteria create acids over time, which eventually erode tooth enamel. Dental plaque can build everywhere in the mouth, but it usually gathers in and around the deep crevices of the molars where they may cause cavities. Plaque is difficult to perceive with the human eye as it is largely colorless but can give the teeth a yellow tint. After hardening plaque becomes tartar which is more difficult to remove.
While mouth odor can be detrimental to your social life, fresh, clean breath provides you the assurance to speak to people. When you have bad breath, people may try to avoid talking to you. This persistent, unpleasant odor in exhaled breath, usually not serious is commonly called bad breath or halitosis.
It can be caused by multiple reasons and made worse by unhealthy lifestyle habits with one of the biggest reasons being poor dental hygiene. Skipping meals can also be a cause, as it reduces the production of saliva needed to flush away bacteria from the teeth, tongue, and gums. Bad breath can also be brought on by medical disorders like liver dysfunction, diabetes, kidney failure, and bodily infections. Dry mouth is another major factor in poor breath. What you eat also affects your breath. For example, strong foods like garlic and onion can leave your mouth smelling odd. Other causes include smoking, stress, dieting, age and hormonal changes, and snoring.
Plaque must be removed to maintain healthy teeth. Maintaining good dental hygiene is an efficient way to accomplish this.
Some steps to follow to completely remove plaque from your teeth. These steps also help in controlling bad breath.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth twice a day. This will help remove plaque from the gums and tooth surfaces.
- Use dental floss to clean between your teeth every day, especially before night, to remove any food particles from areas where brushes can’t.
- Remember to thoroughly scrape the tongue. We frequently disregard this organ, yet bacteria and leftover food on the tongue can contribute to bad breath.
- Use a quality mouthwash to rinse your mouth. The swishing motion will remove any leftover food from the deep recesses of the teeth. An anti-bacterial mouthwash will also eliminate the dangerous germs that are present on the teeth, giving you a fresh, healthy mouth.
- Consume a balanced diet and avoid eating too many snacks in between meals because it gives bacteria extra sugar and starch to feed on. Pick something nourishing like fruits or raw vegetables if you do need a snack.
- Schedule a dental exam and expert cleaning every six months. Plaque and tartar will be completely removed from the mouth during cleaning, preventing significant dental problems.
- Suck on a piece of sugarless candy to ease dry mouth. This keeps the mouth moist and encourages the production of saliva.
- Make some lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking and eating healthy to maintain good oral health.
- If the cause of smelly breath is internal or medical, you need to get to the root of the problem. Visit a dental professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Adopting a consistent oral hygiene practice, choosing a healthy lifestyle, and getting professional dental care when necessary are all important steps in fighting dental plaque and bad breath. This advice can help you keep a clean mouth and a radiant smile, which will enhance your general quality of life. Keep in mind that oral health is essential to overall wellness.