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Oral hygiene english

Oral hygiene: keeping your teeth clean

What is oral and dental hygiene?

Oral and dental hygiene refers to the practice of keeping your mouth healthy and clean by following regular and correct brushing and flossing routines.
This helps to prevent the formation of plaque, which is the sticky film of bacteria that forms on the hard surfaces of teeth, leading to dental decay and gum disease.

What are the results of good dental hygiene?

A healthy-looking and odourless mouth, which comprises of:
Clean and debris-free teeth.
Pink gums that do not hurt or bleed while brushing or flossing.
A mouth free from regular episodes of bad breath.

What is the purpose of dental hygiene?

Good dental and oral hygiene helps to:
Prevent the formation of plaque, which is the sticky film of bacteria that forms on the hard surfaces of teeth.
This can lead to further dental and oral problems, such as tooth decay, tartar, gingivitis and periodontitis or gum disease.
Improve quality of life by preserving speech and eating functions, as teeth will last longer and one can avoid the embarrassment of bad breath or missing or unsightly teeth.

What are the symptoms of improper dental hygiene?

Bleeding or painful gums.
Persistent bad breath.
Yellow or brown deposits on teeth.
Loose teeth and widening gaps between teeth.

What are the potential consequences of improper oral hygiene?

Tooth decay, dental caries, cavities, gum irritation and foul breath - As a result of improper oral hygiene, plaque accumulates on the hard surfaces of teeth; when you eat, the bacteria use the sugar and starch from your food to release acid.
This acid:
Corrodes the tooth enamel over time and results in holes or cavities in the tooth.
Irritates the gums, resulting in bleeding, which leads to foul breath.
The cavities are usually cleaned and refilled with an inert material by the dentists to retain and restore the teeth as well as protect them from further tooth decay.
If left untreated, it can result in loss of entire teeth.

Tartar or calculus - Constant accumulation of plaque as a result of irregular brushing and flossing results in the hardening of plaque into a yellow or brown mineral deposit called tartar or calculus.
As a result of its crusty and rough surface, teeth then become ideal locations for further plaque growth.
Tartar leads to gum disease when it is formed below the gumline.
Gingivitis - This is the initial stage of gum disease and is characterized by:
Inflammation of the gums.
Painless bleeding during brushing and flossing
If treated with adequate dental care, it is reversible.
If ignored, it can lead to a more serious and advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis.

This is advanced gum disease, which leads to the destruction of structures supporting the teeth, including the bone; this causes the loosening of teeth, requiring their removal as a result.
The signs of the he signs of the condition are red, swollen, bleeding gums that shrink away from the teeth.
The resulting widening spaces between the teeth and exposed root surfaces are highly vulnerable to decay.

How can one maintain good dental hygiene?
Proper dental and oral hygiene will prevent the formation of plaque, which, as explained above, is the main factor that leads to gum disease and tooth decay.
Parents must guide children as to the proper dental hygiene methods they should practise daily.
You can also seek your dentist’s advice about the proper oral and dental hygiene practices to be followed.

Article rédigé par le praticien le 28/01/2011