MY DENTAL HEALTH
What is Dental health?
So when we talk about dental health, we are referring to oral hygiene. It is very important to take good care of our mouths. It is very cardinal that our oral hygiene is carried out on a regular basis to enable prevention of dental diseases and bad breath.
Let’s define some words so that we understand well about oral hygiene;
Definition of Terms
- Health: Health is the state of being free from illness or injury.
- Dental: This is relating to teeth or dentistry.
- Dental Health: This is the practice of keeping one’s mouth clean and free of disease and other problems by regular brushing of the teeth and cleaning between the teeth.
Oral health touches every aspect of our lives but it’s often taken for granted. Your mouth is a window into the health of your body. What do we mean by this, for example whatever we take in our body passes through our mouth and the teeth play a big role by chewing the food and there are remains of the food in the mouth and in between the tooth. If we stay for more than two hours without cleaning our mouth after eating, our mouths start to smell pretty bad.
You can practice good oral hygiene by always brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between your teeth once a day with floss or other interdental cleaners, replacing your toothbrush every three months or four months and by eating a balanced diet and limiting between-meal snacks. It is also important to rinse our mouths every time we eat to prevent food from remaining in between our teeth hence bad breath.
What causes bad breath?
- Poor oral hygiene: Bad breath can come as a result of poor oral hygiene, by not brushing our teeth regularly. Rinse your mouth every time you eat and avoid having in-between snacks before the main meals. Brush your mouth twice a day.
- Gum Diseases: When periodontal (gum) disease develops, bacterial in plaque accumulates along the gum line. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Symptoms include red, puffy, and bleeding gums. Proper oral hygiene can prevent gum diseases. Smoking, poor diet, and stress can make it worse so you also have enough rest when you are unwell.
- Food: Food is the primary source of bad odor that comes from the mouth. Some foods, such as garlic, onions, spicy foods, exotic spices (such as curry) can leave a lingering smell.
- Tobacco Products: smoking and chewing tobacco can leave chemicals that remain in the mouth. Smoking can also precipitate other bad breath causes such as gum disease or oral cancers.
- Pregnancy: Being pregnant in itself does not cause bad breath, nausea, and morning sickness common during pregnancy may cause bad breath. In addition, hormonal changes, dehydration, and eating different foods due to craving may also contribute to bad breath during pregnancy.
- Other Causes of Bad Breath: Objects stuck in the nose (usually in children), alcoholism, and large doses of vitamin supplements may also cause bad breath.
How to have a nice smelling breath?
- Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth will remove bacteria that can cause bad breath and also prevent smelly, rotting teeth, and don’t forget your tongue, especially the back. Brushing your tongue reduces bad breath by 70%.
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating: Swirling water in your mouth helps to remove bits of food that can lead to bad breath.
- Floss at least once a day: Flossing removes plaque, a coating of bacteria that forms around teeth. Flossing will also help to prevent periodontal (gum) diseases which is another cause of bad breath.
- Use mouthwash at least once a day. Fluoride mouth rinses kill bacteria and fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay. Gargling with hydrogen peroxide kills mouth bacteria that can cause bad breath. Avoid mouthwash with alcohol it dries your mouth which may worsen the problem of bad breath.
- See your dentist every six months: visit your dentist twice a year. Your dentist will give you a deep cleaning that helps prevent plaque buildup, and check your mouth for cavities or gum diseases which might cause bad breath.
- Drink a lot of fluids. Lack of fluids can lead to dry mouth which causes bad breath. Water can also dilute any chemicals in your mouth or gut that is causing the bad odor in the mouth. You can schedule regular dental check-ups to keep our smile and yourself, healthy.
- Eat fruits and vegetables: The abrasive nature of fibrous fruits and vegetables helps to clean teeth, while the vitamins, antioxidants, and acids they contain improve dental health.
Foods that freshen your breath
- Drink a lot of water. Lack of fluids can lead to dry mouth, which is a leading cause of bad breath. Water can also dilute any chemicals in your mouth or gut that re causing bad breath.
- Eat fruits such as; Apples; apples contain vitamin C, which is necessary for healthy gums as well as malic acid, which helps to whiten teeth. Carrots; Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which strengthens tooth enamel. Celery; Chewing celery produces a lot of saliva which helps to neutralize bacteria that cause bad breath. Pineapples; pineapples contain bromelain an enzyme that cleans the mouth.
- Avoid foods heavy in onions, garlic, or spice. They can all cause bad breath. If you do eat them, bring sugar-free gum or a toothbrush and toothpaste to freshen your mouth afterward.
- Chew sugar-free gum to freshen your breath. Look for gum with xylitol. Bacteria in your mouth will cling to this artificial sugar instead of your teeth. Chewing gum also makes you salivate, helping to prevent dry mouth and removes bacteria and food particles .make sure it is sugarless.
To sum it all up…
Our teeth are the ones that make our smile white and beautiful. Keep your dental well by following the guidelines given above. Be sure to consult your dentist if your bad breath persists despite these measures. Persistent bad breath may be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as sinus or lung infection, bronchitis, diabetes, or liver or kidney disease.