Dental hygiene is a practice of keeping the mouth and teeth clean to prevent bad breath and different dental and oral problems. Dental hygiene manly focuses on removing the dental plaque and tartar from the teeth. This dental plaque is a colorless layer that forms normally on the teeth. It is formed by colonizing bacteria that are trying to attach to a smooth surface of the teeth. Dental plaque starts to harden within 48 hours, and after 10 days it becomes very hard dental calculus, known as tartar, which is very hard to remove. Dental plaque is associated with the formation of dental caries, gingivitis and chronic periodontitis, as the bacteria produce acid in the process of degradation of fermentable sugars.
Tooth brushing is the basic method of dental hygiene. At the same time, this is the most successful preventive measure one can take to protect from cavities, gingivitis and gum disease. These dental health problems are very serious, and they present a global disease affecting almost every human being on the planet. Moreover, severe gum disease causes about 33% of adult tooth loss.
Tooth brushing is normally done by a toothbrush and toothpaste. Most of the toothpastes contain fluoride, and they are basically added to the toothbrush to aid the cleaning. To get the maximum dental health benefits from tooth cleaning, one should use a soft brush and avoid damaging the enamel or gums. Toothpaste also aids in the removal of dental plaque and helps against bad breath. Fluoride is often added to toothpastes to prevent future tooth and gum decay.
The use of dental floss is also an important step in oral hygiene as it helps to remove decaying food that is stuck between the teeth. Degradation of these particles can cause the irritation to the gums. Flossing the teeth on a regular basis can help prevent receding gums, gum disease and cavities between the teeth.
Tongue cleaning is another important step in basic dental hygiene since it removes the yellow coating of bacteria from the tongue and prevents bad breath. This coating is hazardous to dental health as it consists of food particles, fungi and different dead cells. Cleaning the tongue with the regular toothbrush can help to lessen the total levels of bacteria in the mouth and decrease the risk of tooth decay and gum diseases.
Another important product used for oral hygiene is the mouthwash or mouth rinse. It is usually antiseptic and destroys the bacterial plaque causing bad breath and dental problems. It doesn’t eliminate the need for brushing and flossing, but it certainly aids in the process of preserving good dental hygiene and health.