Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth, teeth and gums clean and healthy. It is the best way to prevent tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontists, as well as avoiding halitosis. The preventive care should be daily to avoid several problems with your oral health and well-being.
Oral hygiene and periodic consultations with your dentist are very important throughout your lifetime. Regardless of age, it is possible to have healthy teeth and gums if you brush your teeth at least three times a day, using adequate toothpaste. Don’t forget to floss at least once a day, and is important visit your dentist for check-ups.
Regardless of age, it is possible to have healthy teeth and gums
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), oral health comprises a state in which the person is free from pain, discomfort and changes in the mouth and face. This includes conditions of oral or throat cancer, infections and mouth ulcers, diseases and any disorders that may affect the quality of life, preventing the patient from eating, smiling, speaking or feeling socially comfortable.
Oral health directly reflects on overall health. It is through the mouth that the digestive process begins, as teeth are important for chewing food, the articulation of words and aesthetics.
Remember, early detection and treatment of problems with your gums, teeth and mouth can help ensure a lifetime of good oral health.
Oral hygiene advice:
From the earliest months of life, proper oral hygiene should be practiced.
For babies, soak gauze in filtered water and gently wipe the baby’s gums at least once a day, preferably at dusk, before the baby sleeps. After 6 months, an appropriate finger brush for the baby’s oral hygiene should replace the gauze. When the baby is 1 1/2 years old, parents should begin using a child’s toothbrush as well as using an age-appropriate, usually fluoride-free, toothpaste.
All these procedures should be part of the child’s routine early on, so that in the future, they see tooth brushing as normal routine.
- In addition to daily brushing and flossing, consider using mouthwash containing fluoride to promote oral health.
- Resist the temptation to use toothpicks or other objects that could injure your gums and let in bacteria.
- If you smoke, try to quit. Using tobacco increases your risk of many diseases, including gum disease and tooth loss
- Visit your dentist regularly – at least every 6 months to maintain good oral health.
Original text by:
Dr. Amanda Martins – CRO: 107.190 – Brazil / São Paulo
How to protect yourself and your patients?
The impact of coronavirus on Dental Practitioners: how to protect yourself and your patients?
The new strain of coronavirus which originated in China last December continues to cause chaos worldwide. As dental practitioners, it is important that your organisation remains vigilant to protect patients and dental practitioners.
What measures can dental practitioners take to prevent cross infection?
How does the coronavirus spread?
Investigations are ongoing as to how 2019-nCoV spreads. However, it is presently thought to be passed on when an infected person coughs or sneezes via respiratory droplets, which end up in the lungs of people in the vicinity, like how the flu spreads. Investigations into whether infection can occur from contact with an object, such as touching something that is infected and then touching your mouth or nose, are continuing.
What can dental practitioners do to prevent cross infection?
First, revise risk assessment procedures with the entire practice team. The first step to limiting infection in the practice is to try to prevent it from entering in the first place. In the case that a patient presents with symptoms, on arrival the patient should be requested to reschedule their appointment.
As practitioners, there are measures that you can take and can advise your patients to follow to protect against the coronavirus, as well as flu. Here are some points to remember:
Wash your hands: Wash hands for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based rub, especially before eating or after coughing or sneezing.
Keep your distance: As stated, viruses spread via respiratory droplets, so maintain a distance of at least 3 feet from people who have a cough or fever.
Avoid contact with eyes, nose, and mouth: Your hands touch many objects, and you could end up transferring the virus to yourself.
Seek medical care: Get help early if you are symptomatic and tell your medical practitioner if you have been in contact with anyone who has traveled to China.
Stay home: If you experience symptoms, stay home and rest until you are fully recovered. Do not come to work and infect your colleagues.
Disinfect surfaces: Clean objects and surfaces thoroughly that are frequently touched by people in the workplace. First, the surface must be cleaned, and then a second wipe is used to disinfect.
Do not be afraid to question patients before they enter the practice. It is, after all, a public health issue.
Vigilance, not panic, is the key to keeping viruses at bay.
How 2019-nCoV spreads. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html. February 5, 2020. Accessed February 10, 2020.
How flu spreads. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm. August 27, 2018. Accessed February 10, 2020.
The impact of coronavirus on dental practitioners: Protecting your patient, practice and public website https://www.drbicuspid.com/index.aspx?sec=sup&sub=pmt&pag=dis&ItemID=325917
13/02/2020. Accessed February 14, 2020
Beat flu in dental practice. National Health Service Whales website. September 24, 2018, http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/88375. Accessed February 10, 2020.
The importance of dental floss
Many people believe that just brushing their teeth after each meal is enough to keep their oral hygiene. What most people don’t know is the floss is not an accessory, but an indispensable item for complete tooth cleaning.
Dental floss, as well as your toothbrush, should be part of your daily oral cleaning routine to help eliminatee the dirt that accumulates during the course of our day.
The thread passed between the tooth and the gum eliminates the accumulation of plaque, especially those that cause caries and gingivitis.
Your regular toothbrush is essential to clean the surface of the teeth but is not enough to ensure cleanliness between them. Dental floss helps to clean between teeth, removing the remains of food that gets stuck and left behind.
Flossing is essential to prevent gingivitis and other diseases. The leftover food that accumulates in the gum below the visible part of the tooth becomes food for various bacteria which end up causing inflammation that can compromise your oral health.
In addition to preventing disease, flossing helps maintain better mouth aesthetics. By cleaning thoroughly, removing bacteria and food debris, floss helps preserve tooth enamel, making it stronger and resistant.
How to floss correctly?
- You will need about 40 cm of string
- Wrap the string around each middle finger
- Holding the thread between your thumb and forefinger, slide it with a movement from top to bottom, covering the entire the region between the gum and the teeth
- Slide carefully, to avoid damaging the gum, which is already a fragile tissue
- For each tooth to be cleaned it is necessary to use a new part of the dental floss
When removing dental floss from your teeth, always remember to move backwards.
Are you ready to floss?