Everyone wants to have a great smile which is why good oral hygiene is important! Having poor oral hygiene can lead to a variety of dental and medical problems in the future such as gum disease, infection, bone loss, heart disease, strokes and more. Regular check ups and cleanings can prevent these problems as well as provide you with good oral hygiene.
Here is a list of 10 Dental hygiene steps you can take to promote great oral hygiene.
1. Proper Brushing
One of the easiest steps to do to help your teeth keep clean. When brushing your teeth, position the bristles at an angle of 45 degrees near the gum line. Both the gum line and the tooth surface should be in contact with the bristles. Brush the outer surfaces of the teeth using a back-and-forth, up-and-down motion, making sure to be done gently in order to avoid bleeding. To clean the inside surfaces of the teeth and gums, place the bristles at a 45-degree angle again and repeat the back-and-forth, up-and-down motion. Lastly, brush the surfaces of your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove bacteria, which might cause bad breath.
Try to brush at least twice a day to prevent acid buildup from the breakdown of food by bacteria. However, if your work or activities prevent you from doing this, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water after eating to minimize the amount of food that would serve as substrate for the bacteria.
We know, it’s a chore and alot of times forgetful after brushing if rushing out the door or heading to bed. However, flossing can help you remove food particles and other detrimental substances that brushing regularly cannot. Flossing allows you to reach deep between your teeth where the toothbrush bristles cannot reach or even mouthwash cannot wash away. We recommend flossing at least once a day.
3. Avoid Tobacco
This will be a big favor to your teeth. One, it will save you from oral cancer and periodontal complications. Two, it will save you from the countless ill effects caused by the agents used to mask the smell of tobacco. For example, if you smoke a cigarette, you may use candies, tea or coffee to mask the smoky breath and odor. This doubles the amount of damage caused.
4. Limit Sodas, Coffee and Alcohol
Although these beverages contain a high level of phosphorous, which is a necessary mineral for a healthy mouth, too much phosphorous can deplete the body’s level of calcium. This causes dental hygiene problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Beverages containing additives such as corn syrup and food dye can make pearly white teeth appear dull and discolored. Therefore, it is best to choose beverages like milk, which helps strengthen teeth and build stronger enamel, giving you a healthy, beautiful smile and water which hydrates your body longer than sugary drinks.
5. Consume Calcium and other Vitamins that are good for the body
You need plenty of calcium for your teeth. It is essential for the teeth as well as your bones. It is better to drink milk, fortified orange juice and to eat yogurt, broccoli, cheese, and other dairy products. You can also take a calcium supplement, taking different doses according to your age and necessity as per prescription. Calcium and Vitamin D are necessary for maintaining the health of gums and teeth. Vitamin B complex is also essential for the protection of gums and teeth from cracking and bleeding. Copper, zinc, iodine, iron and potassium are also required for maintaining healthy dental hygiene.
6. Visit Your Dentist
You should visit your dentist at least twice a year to have a full hygiene treatment performed. Also at these appointments, a comprehensive exam is taken with x-rays to help detect and prevent future dental treatments from occurring.
7. Use Mouthwash along side brushing and flossing
Mouthwash is not particularly necessary and not all mouthwashes are useful. Mouthwashes containing Listerine our chlorine dioxide are very helpful because they help to kill and maintain the bacteria in your mouth. It can help maintain good breath as well as help maintain strong teeth. Mouthwash cannot do all the work but if your are already brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist and eating well, mouthwash is the cherry on top that will make your dental health great.
8. Having a toothache or noticing other dental symptoms
If you are having tooth and jaw pain make an appointment as soon as possible. Your dentist needs to diagnose the underlying cause and correct it before it turns into a greater problem.
9. Look at the Big Picture
Everyone understands that you should take care of your teeth to avoid toothaches, maintain your looks and keep dental bills at bay. Many people, however, don’t understand how crucial oral health is to our total health picture. Tooth problems can lead to diabetes, heart disease, systemic infections, an inability to eat or speak properly and other maladies – some life-threatening. Crooked or crowded teeth can contribute to gum disease that can eventually lead to tooth loss. Straight teeth are no longer just for looks.
10. Clean your tongue
Clean the surface of your tongue daily. By using a professional tongue cleaner you remove countless bacteria that otherwise live, particularly on the rougher top surface of your tongue. These can contribute to bad breath (halitosis) and negatively affect your dental health.
If you suffer from eczema, you know what exactly eczema is and how painful it is to live with it. If you had been trying all the things under the sun to get rid of eczema, let me share with you that you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from eczema and all of them are in the search of just an answer to this one question, how to treat eczema? Is it really possible to cure eczema completely? If yes, how and if no what is the remedy? The good news is that eczema is totally manageable and you can use home remedies for eczema to keep it in check. Before moving on to these natural remedies, let’s first try to get the answers for certain pertinent questions regarding eczema.
What is Eczema?
Dictionary says, eczema is that medical condition where patches of skin become rough and inflamed with blisters. This causes itching and bleeding. It can be mild, moderate or severe eczema where the itching may be so bad that you scratch your skin until it bleeds.
The medical term for eczema is Atopic Dermatitis.
The itchy, red rashes of eczema can appear anywhere on the body- elbows, behind the knees, scalp, chest, back, arms, legs, neck, wrists, ankles- practically almost anywhere. Baby eczema often occur on the face, particularly on the cheeks and chin.
What is the Cause of Eczema?
The real cause for eczema hasn’t been established yet. However, Atopic eczema runs in families and thus it can be said that it is a hereditary disease. In the medical world, the term ‘Atopic’ is used for such conditions that have genetic basis. So, it can be said that genetic make-up causes eczema. The skin of the people who have such genetic issue is not able to work as a proper barrier for the environmental irritants that enter the skin and cause dryness, inflammation and itching.
Some of the other causes of eczema include abnormal immune system, hostile environment, indulgence in such activities that make skin more sensitive, and the inability of the skin to hold moisture. These causes can be listed as follows:
- Defective immune system
- Environmental issues (triggers that flare up eczema)
- Activities that make skin sensitive
- Dryness of skin
- Skin not performing as optimum barrier for germs
Apart from causes, triggers of eczema are also important.
Triggers for Eczema flare ups
There are certain factors in the environment that may trigger eczema flare ups. It is important to note that these are not causes of eczema but their presence can lead to showing up of severe eczema symptoms like redness, dryness, skin patches, blisters, itching etc.
- Heat and dust
- Soaps, detergents, cleansers, etc.
- Cigarette smoke
- Bacterial infection
- Viral infection
- Allergic reaction to certain things such as pollen, pet dander, certain food or spices etc.
- Dry skin
Can Eczema be cured completely?
No, there is no cure for eczema but it can be managed to such a level that you feel as if your eczema has been cured.
How to Treat Eczema at Home?
It should have been, ‘how to manage eczema’ so that you feel you have treated your eczema completely. There are essentially 4 steps to manage or treat eczema at home:
- Proper bathing
- Moisturizing the skin effectively
- Using prescription treatments to keep away inflammation and infections OR using home remedies for eczema.
- Avoiding triggers to reduce eczema flare ups. From the soap, perfumes, and cosmetics to clothes that you wear and foods that you eat, everything should be friendly to your skin.
Bathing Tips for Eczema
Bathing is very important, not only for people with eczema but for everyone. Water hydrates the top layer of your skin. When you bathe, the water softens your skin so that the topical medications as well as moisturizers can be absorbed into it. Water also removes allergens and irritants as well as the crusted tissue. Bathing is relaxing and it reduces stress, which is sometimes a trigger for eczema.
- Take at least one bath or shower every day.
- Prefer taking bath instead of showers, as far as possible. Occasional showers are all right.
- Do not use hot water to bathe as it may trigger eczema. Use warm water or water at room temperature for bathing.
- Do not take long showers. Bathe for just 5-7 minutes. While bathing helps hydrate your skin, longer exposure to water makes it drier.
- Do not scrub your skin with wash cloth. If needed, use natural ingredients as scrub such as oatmeal.
- Always use a mild soap or a gentle cleanser. During the days when you have severe eczema, avoid using soap or cleansers
- After bathing, use your towel to pat dry your skin, never rub towel on your skin.
Just after bathing, within 3 minutes, moisturize your skin to lock in the moisture. This is essential for managing eczema. You can use natural moisturizing agents or choose one that is commercially available. Conduct a patch test before using any moisturizer so that nothing in it could flare up your eczema.