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Basic Daily Dental Etiquettes

Dr Grish K Malhotra | Dentist

A good oral hygiene routine, regular dental check-ups and a healthy lifestyle are crucial for protecting oral health and maintaining general health’. Oral diseases, if left untreated, not only impact the mouth, but can also impact every aspect of life.’

 

‘The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected oral health around the globe. In addition to fuelling unhealthy eating and drinking habits (Abbas, 2020), the pandemic has severely disrupted dentistry services and access to care.’


So home maintenance and development of good practices has become essential to avoid deterioration of dental health.

Although largely preventable, dental decay and gum disease continue to be the two largest threats to oral health. Research has indicated possible associations between chronic oral infections and diabetes, heart and lung disease, stroke, and low birth weight or premature births (Benjamin, 2010). In other words, whilst oral health refers to the health of our mouth it ultimately supports and reflects the health of the entire body.

Oral health is significant

There is increasing evidence to support detection of coronavirus within saliva.

Clarity in the spread of infection and whether there is ability to break down the walls of the virus within the mouth remain questionable.

Barriers surrounding dental access are also having a huge impact. Individuals are in a position where they may suffer in pain for a longer duration. With it being near impossible and difficult to reach a dental surgery in time, the management of dental pain is pivotal.

Currently routine dentistry is not being carried out so freely.

Optimising Toothbrush

In terms of toothbrushing technique, no particular technique is better than another. Your existing method of brushing may need modifying to maximise plaque removal, emphasising the need to systematically clean all tooth surfaces.


Manual toothbrushes are accessible for most patients, easy to use and can be effective at plaque control. The way we use the toothbrush is as important as the toothbrush itself.
 

We should be aware that the effectiveness of their toothbrush reduces the more it is used,  so we should replace it every three months, or before, if the bristles become worn and splayed.
 

Another reason to change your toothbrush is if they have had a cold or a virus. Once an infection has passed, together with the typical symptoms such as a cough, sneezing, or fever, they should replace their toothbrush.

Top brushing tips

  • Brush twice daily for at least two minutes using firm pressure and a fluoridated toothpaste

  • After brushing, spit out rather than rinsing out with water

  • Adopt a good brushing technique as oppose to scrubbing away at your teeth and gums

  • Try to clean in between your teeth. These areas can hold food, debris and bacteria

  • Avoid brushing straight after eating. Ideally wait 45 minutes to allow extra time for the saliva components to break down the food in your mouth

  • Don’t neglect brushing the tongue. The tongue is a strong active muscle that can release strong potent smells if it is not cleaned effectively. Remember to clean the tongue after brushing using a toothbrush or a tongue scraper

  • Regularly check everything in the mouth looks and feels normal. Look out for random bleeding and texture differences

Diet plans

  • Always stay hydrated. Hydration is key to keep your saliva active in keeping the oral tissues moist and healthy

  • When consuming fizzy drinks or beverages, try to use a straw to avoid direct contact with the teeth. Direct contact can gradually lead to acid wear and sensitivity, which is uncomfortable

  • Avoid snacking throughout the day. This can disrupt the saliva levels in the mouth, which will affect the health of the tissues in the mouth

  • Be careful and take caution when eating hard foods and fruits

  • Keep sugar consumption confined to mealtimes only

Denture care

  • Make sure dentures are cleaned daily. To make them last longer, clean them after eating each meal

  • If you feel pain when wearing dentures, it is okay to remove them. Let your gums rest and relieve the soreness for a few hours

  • Avoid sleeping with your dentures

  • When cleaning and managing dentures, remember to handle with care as they can be fragile and break easily

Summary

Five-step routine for maintaining good oral health during restricted times

  • Brush all the surfaces of each tooth for two minutes (use a timer)

  • Use interdental brushes to clean between the teeth

  • Clean the tongue using soft vertical brush strokes

  • Check for any abnormalities (bleeding gums, ulcers and cavities)

  • Spit after brushing, no rinsing out with water

Incorporating good oral hygiene into your daily routine is essential for maintaining both Oral and General health in these challenging times.