Oral Hygiene and Nutrition

A very old saying says, “A smile is the only curve that sets all the things straight.” It means a simple smile makes everything alright and better. Whenever we meet a stranger or a very important person, the first thing we do is smile and only then do we start our conversation. It means that the first thing anyone sees is our face and then our smile. 

It’s a basic natural fact that we all want to be liked and appreciated. Whenever we go out we want to be look our best; from top to toe. Because we want to be admired. And our teeth are a part of this. Just think, in spite of being at our best and giving our best smile that is full of confidence, if the teeth behind that smile are discoloured or crooked or missing or our breath sticks, then what affect that would have on people’s imagine of us. Just imagine the situation, instead of admiration and appreciation getting a look of disgust. Think of the affect it would have on our self confidence. 

For the above discussed beautiful smile oral hygiene is extremely important along with proper nutrition.

Firstly, Oral Hygiene. Oral hygiene means keeping your mouth clean, odourless, free of diseases and other problems by regularly practicing certain healthy habits that promote a life-long disease free oral cavity. Below are some healthy habits:

  1. Brush twice a day:

I know it’s time consuming, it’s boring and we get lazy. But it’s important. When we eat food, small morsels get lodged in the spaces between two teeth and between tooth and gums. The longer this food stays in those tiny places the more it rots and attracts bacteria. This in turn leads to CAVITIES and then finally TOOTH DECAY. Irregular and improper brushing leads to PLAQUE formation. So brush twice a day at least. And sometimes even after you have had something sweet or rich in sugar because we all know that bacteria love sugar. If you can’t brush at least gargle after dessert.

  1. Floss:

Some food particles are so tiny that your tooth brush might miss out. For such troublesome particles flossing is necessary. Flossing is basically using dental floss to dislodge food particles that are stuck between teeth. Flossing must be done once a day and should be avoided in young children.

  1. Tongue Cleaning:

Almost half of our oral cavity is made up of the tongue. It is the first surface that food touches and stays on. Therefore it is extremely important that the tongue is kept clean. An unclean tongue is the source of all bad breath. There are good tongue cleaners available in the market these days, so find them and use them.

  1. Mouth Wash:

Some people use mouth wash to give their mouths a fresh feeling and a minty breath. If you are one of those people then ok, but don’t over use. 

  1. Choosing Products Wisely:

Toothbrushes are available in bristles of different softness. Find the softness level that works best for you. Very hard toothbrush bristles may cause your tooth enamel to erode. Remember, we want comfort AND good teeth.

Toothpaste: medicated or herbal tooth pastes are always a better idea than ones with chemicals. Fluoride containing toothpastes should be preferred. But if you suffer from any dental condition please consult your dentist before starting a medicated or chemical based or special function toothpaste.

  1. Regular Dental Appointments:

Meet your dentist at least once a year for a regular check up.

I know we are all scared of dentist. But a regular and frequent check up will in the future save us from landing in the dentist’s chair for painful procedures. So take regular care now and protect yourself from serious conditions and heavy procedures in the future. Your dentist is your friend.

Secondly, Nutrition. The food we eat affects our teeth and gums and oral cavity. Our teeth are made of calcium, phosphorous and other minor elements

  1. Calcium: 

Our teeth are part of our skeletal system. They are bones. Hence they are majorly made up of calcium. For healthy teeth our diet must contain calcium.

Sources of Calcium: Milk and Milk Products, Eggs, Cheese, Tofu, Green Leafy Vegetables, Soya

  1. Phosphorous:

The enamel coating of our teeth is protected by phosphorus.

Sources of Phosphorus: Milk and Milk Products, Meat, Beans, Lentils, Nuts, Bananas, Eggs

  1. Vitamin D: 

Calcium gets absorbed in the body only in the presence of Vitamin D.

Sources of Vitamin D: SUNLIGHT, Fortified Milk and Soy Products 

  1. Vitamin C: 

Scurvy, bleeding gums, is a major problem in current times. Vitamin C Cures and prevents Scurvy.

Sources of Vitamin C: All Citrus Fruits, Guava, Capsicum, Broccoli, Papaya, Strawberries.

  1. Vitamin A: 

Vitamin A also helps in protecting enamel.

Sources of Vitamin A: Sweet Potatoes, Vegetables and Fruits that are Orange or Yellow Colour

  1. Water: 

Water is very essential for the human body, as we all know. For the teeth especially it works by diluting the acids present in our daily diet which cause damage to the enamel. So drink lots of water, especially after eating acidic foods.

Don’ts:

  • Avoid Sugar and Sweets as much as possible. If you do eat, brush your teeth after eating Sugar Rich Foods.
  • Tobacco, Tea and Coffee stain our teeth. So avoid. Or at least gargle or brush after consumption.
  • Cold Foods may lead to sensitivity of teeth and gums.  They also exaggerate symptoms in people already suffering from tooth sensitivity. So try to avoid.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar damages tooth enamel. If you have to consume, then consume in a diluted form and with a straw.

I know I told you that your dentist is your friend. But you can always meet him just for a social call. You don’t always have to have a tooth problem just to say hi to him. So brush well, clean well, eat well, drink well and take very good care of your teeth and your mouth. Because as we all know, they don’t grow again and again. 

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