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Why dental hygiene is key to good oral health

Brush your teeth twice a day, don;t forget to floss and make sure you avoids foods rich in carbs and sugar

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Dr Rajitha Gopalan, general dentist at Aster Clinic, Muhaisnah
XPRESS

Dubai: Often taken for granted, dental hygiene is a vital part of our daily routine. Oral care not only keeps your teeth looking good and strong, it also has a significant impact on your overall health. Several conditions affect oral health and it is important to be aware of them and learn how best to avoid them. Poor oral hygiene, unhealthy lifestyle and improper diets are the main causes of dental and oral health issues.

Decay is the damage caused to the teeth when bacteria in the mouth create acids that harm a tooth, causing a hole or cavity. A tooth has three layers, the deeper the infection, the greater the cavity. There are various causative factors for tooth decay, including; lack of good oral hygiene, not brushing and flossing regularly, unhealthy dietary practices, consumption of foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates, not using a fluoride toothpaste, as it helps in creating a protective layer around the tooth and smoking or inhaling second-hand smoke.

The most important step to prevent tooth decay is to brush twice a day. Flossing to clean between the teeth is an often disregarded step of dental hygiene. Eat nutritious meals and snack smart by avoiding food rich in carbohydrates and sugar. Consult a dentist for regular dental check-ups and to advice you on the right toothpaste.

Gum disease and bad breath are also caused by poor dental practices. Bad breath could be made worse by the food you intake. It can be treated by following healthy dental practices and keeping a tab on the food you eat. Wash your mouth after every meal without fail and ensure regular brushing and flossing. Avoiding smoking is also essential to keep the gums strong and healthy. Mouth sores are also a common oral condition, caused by tongue biting, dentures, hard toothbrush, tobacco etc. They can be treated with medications, avoiding spicy, oily and fried food and simple changing food habits. However if it does get painful and doesn’t recover for more than a week, it is best to consult a dentist.

Gingivitis is another oral health condition caused mainly because of poor oral hygiene, smoking, vitamin D deficiency, hormonal changes, viral and fungal infections. The most effective response is adopting a dental cleaning process in order to avoid the progression of the disease.

- The writer is general dentist at Aster Clinic, Muhaisnah

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