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Dental Hygiene Self Care Techniques

Dental Hygiene Self Care Techniques

Basic Dental Hygiene And Regular Check Ups Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Basic Hygiene

dentist tools.thumbnail Dental Hygiene Self Care TechniquesSeeing your dentist for a check up twice a year can greatly reduce the risk of gum disease, tooth decay or bad breath. This is why in all of our medical packages we include a free dental check-up upon request. Many people choose to ignore this advice and only visit the dentist once a problem occurs. A simple check up and a professional clean is all it takes to help keep your mouth hygienic and to spot problems before they become excruciatingly painful. Daily brushing is not enough, and deep cleaning to get those hard to reach areas should be done by a dentist despite any feelings you may have about going to the clinic.

plaque.thumbnail Dental Hygiene Self Care TechniquesThe dentist will begin by scraping the mineral build up on your teeth known as plaque, they will then floss to remove any build up between the teeth. The dentist will use a polishing compound and apply fluoride to help fight tooth decay and finish off the cleaning process. Cleaning is usually painless and takes about 20 minutes however if you haven’t been to the dentist for a while be prepared to sit for a while longer whilst they clean parts of your teeth you didn’t know you had!

dental xray machine.thumbnail Dental Hygiene Self Care TechniquesYour dentist may ask to take x-rays of your teeth. This only takes a few minutes and is completely painless, you will be expected to bite down on a small piece of plastic whilst the dentist aligns the machine to take several different pictures of your teeth.

If your dentist sees fit, they may apply a sealant on the chewing surface of your teeth. This will prevent bacteria and food getting stuck in the rough parts of your teeth, it will also protect your teeth from plaque and help prevent tooth decay.
Your dentist may ask about you diet and the foods you eat as this can affect your dental health. They may also talk about your cleaning and flossing habits and whether or not you should change them. If you have active cavities your dentist will recommend dental treatment, which can be carried out right away or scheduled for appointment. If your teeth and gums are health you will be advised to keep your brushing and flossing habits.

Tooth Decay

tooth decay.thumbnail Dental Hygiene Self Care TechniquesTooth decay is the process that results in what is know as a cavity. It occurs when bacteria in the mouth create acids that eat away at the tooth, this can lead to infection and tooth loss and can be extremely painful.

The plaque which is always forming on our teeth contains bacteria, it’s these bacteria that feed on the sugars in our mouth making acids which attack the teeth for up to 20 minutes after eating, over a period of time these acids destroy the tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.

cavity.thumbnail Dental Hygiene Self Care TechniquesA cavity has no real symptoms until its too late, this is why it’s important to have your teeth checked regularly. Once you have a cavity or tooth decay you may experience painful tooth aches until the cavity is attended to.

If you have been diagnosed with a cavity the treatment may vary depending on how bad it is. Slight tooth decay can be reversed by using fluoride, mild tooth decay will be treated by filling the cavities with another substance (fillings), for more severe tooth decay you may need a crown or root canal and for even more extreme cases, the dentist may remove the tooth.

Bad Breath

Stores are packed full of mouthwashes, mints and gum that are supposed to control bad breath or halitosis. These products may work, but only temporarily and they may less effective in controlling bad breath than simply keeping your mouth clean. Certain foods, habits or health conditions can be the cause of bad breath and in many cases you can prevent bad breath with proper dental hygiene. If self care techniques don’t solve the problem a visit to your dentist or doctor may help determine the cause of bad breath.


The breakdown of food in your mouth can cause a bad odor. Eating foods with volatile oils is another source of bad breath. After these foods are digested the pungent oils are absorbed into your bloodstream and can carry into to the lungs giving off bad breath until the food is eliminated from your body.

Dental Hygiene

Poor dental hygiene can lead to bad breath. If brushing and flossing is not carried out daily, food particles can stay in the mouth collecting bacteria and emitting hydrogen sulfur vapors. If plaque is not scraped away it can build up between your teeth and gums, this to too can be lead to bad breath.


Chronic lung infections and abscesses can also produce very foul smelling breath. Other illnesses can also cause a distinctive smell, kidney failure can cause a urine-like odor and liver failure can cause an odor described as fishy. People with diabetes often have a fruity breath odor and the chronic reflux of stomach acids (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD ) or a slight protrusion of the stomach into the chest cavity (hiatal hernia) can also produce bad breath.

Mouth, Nose and Throat Conditions

Nasal discharge from the back of the nose into the throat can cause mouth odor. A sinus infection or something that is lodged in the nose can cause a persistent nasal discharge which creates the foul smelling odor. Strep Throat, Tonsillitis and mononucleosis can also cause bad breath until the infection clears. Bronchitis and other respiratory infections in which odorous sputum is coughed up is another source.

Self Care Techniques

Some simple self care techniques to help combat bad breath, tooth decay and disease include:

  • Brushing your teeth after you eat – to help combat acids that attack your teeth.
  • Floss at least once a day – to remove food particles and plaque between your teeth.
  • Brush your tongue – to remove dead cells, bacteria and food debris.
  • Drink plenty of water – to keep your mouth moist and stimulate saliva that helps protect your mouth.
  • Use a new tooth brush – it’s good practice to change your toothbrush regularly for hygiene reasons.
  • Clean your dentures – if you wear a bridge, partial or complete dentures, clean at least once a day.

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