Issues and Challenges

Why is Oral Hygiene So Important

Oral hygiene is an important part of our overall health, as our daily food intake is through our mouth. Various studies and researches have directed attention towards the fact that oral hygiene is pivotal to the wellbeing of an individual and that poor oral hygiene leads to periodontal disease, which makes your gums and teeth a source of bacteria intake in your body, leading to severe health issues like blood clots, inflammation of blood vessels, heart diseases, cancer and osteoporosis, etc. Therefore, our mouth requires immense care and this practice needs to be incorporated in our daily routine from an early age. 
Oral cavity being the gateway to our body needs a lot of attention and care, however, it is often neglected by most of the people. Ignorance towards oral hygiene is the major cause of most of the dental issues encountered by dentists in their daily practice. Some common issues that people face due to lack of attention towards their oral health or bad hygiene practices include swollen gums, bad breath, pain, bleeding gums and caries, etc. Food is the basic necessity of living beings and these problems usually cause inability to eat and masticate properly, which leads to malnutrition, poor gut health, etc., that ultimately disturbs the quality of life. 
Maintaining good oral hygiene helps to prevent any mouth infection, decaying or plaquing of teeth, early tooth loss, caries and bleeding gums, etc. A good oral healthcare routine includes regular brushing and flossing, avoiding intake of extremely hot or cold food that may induce sensitivity, using soft bristle brush, etc. All of this has proven to be essential for achieving and maintaining physical as well as emotional wellbeing. 
How to Take Care of the Oral Cavity
All health problems can be controlled by proper oral care, which includes brushing your teeth using a standard method twice a day to help in the removal of dental plaque, germs, and food trapped between the teeth. Flossing is an important part of teeth cleaning that is neglected by almost everyone; it enables access to the parts where the toothbrush cannot reach and clean the teeth properly. Apart from these basic points, to prevent further issues we need to adopt mature habits for maintaining a good oral health, which include the use of a good toothpaste, having healthy food and avoiding sweets, especially candies, chocolates and carbonated drinks, etc. Further make a habit of wearing night guards if you are facing teeth grinding; wearing mouth guards is also recommended when playing contact sports. In addition to that, try to rinse your mouth with water after every meal, especially after having sweets and use mouthwash atleast every alternative day to prevent oral infections. Most importantly, visit your dentist at least twice a year; it will help in early detection of any oral disease. 
Oral Health for Children
Oral healthcare begins with the growth of first teeth in a child’s mouth. Although, people might neglect oral care of their children, assuming that the milk teeth are eventually going to fall, however, what they fail to realize is that the baby teeth hold the space for the permanent teeth. Therefore, a strong and healthy space for permanent teeth is critical for the oral health of children and hence, oral healthcare must start from the very first tooth. Teeth tartars are common among children because of the excessive intake of sweets and irregular or no brushing. It is therefore, essential to develop good oral health habits in your children to avoid weakening of teeth in mature age. Some precautions parents can adopt for their children are making the habit of brushing teeth twice a day — first thing in the morning and at night before bed, stopping them from having excessive sweets and sticky candies and incorporating a good diet. Remember, such habits will be carried by the children throughout their lives.
Impact of Oral Hygiene on Mental Health 
Aesthetics are the major concern of the society and teeth undoubtedly play an important role in the overall look of a person. Good care of oral cavity can boost one’s confidence, however, if you are ignorant towards your dental health, it may lead to dental caries, which can impact your look drastically. So, taking care of your oral health is as important as taking care of your other health problems. As dental health has an impact on mental health, likewise some psychological illnesses can have a negative impact on a person’s oral health, causing general neglect towards oral hygiene. Damaged gums due to no or over brushing or attrition of teeth caused by excessive grinding are some of the problems people with depression or other psychological illness may come across.
Dentists are often the first to identify early signs of eating disorders, as damage is caused to the tooth enamel because of purging. In these cases, regular cleaning is important to maintain uncompromised teeth and gums, whereas, fluoride treatments can help with the remineralization of the damaged tooth enamel along with taking care of the root cause.
Oral health should begin from an early age to avoid weakening of teeth later on in life. One needs to incorporate good oral healthcare practices along with a good diet in their children’s and their own daily routines. Taking certain preventive measures, such as those discussed above, would save you and your children from a lot of trouble and would ensure good health. HH


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