Oral hygiene: a health practice

Tartar, cavities, gingivitis—problems that need treatment, but that are preventable owing to proper oral hygiene.

Dental health

Oral health is an important element of overall health. Teeth and gums are essential for eating, chewing, talking, etc. Moreover, a healthy smile contributes to a pleasing appearance and promotes self-esteem. Providing appropriate oral care helps to maintain dental and gum health as long as possible.

Plaque and tartar

Plaque is an invisible film loaded with food and bacterial debris that builds up on your teeth every day. It cannot be eliminated simply by rinsing your mouth with water. With time, plaque hardens and turns into tartar. Only a dentist can remove tartar during a professional cleaning. Plaque is the leading cause of cavities and gum disease, like gingivitis. Brushing and flossing are two basic solutions to remove plaque and prevent tartar build-up.

Cavities

A cavity forms following the combined action of several factors, including food, oral acidity, tooth composition, heredity, and dental plaque. The bacteria present in plaque are mainly responsible for the appearance of cavities. When they go undetected and untreated, cavities can worsen and eventually cause symptoms and complications. A dental examination is the best way to detect cavities.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a minor inflammation of the gums caused by plaque build-up. Signs of gingivitis may include bleeding gums when brushing or flossing, red or swollen gums, and bad breath. If gingivitis is not adequately treated, it can lead to more serious problems. Certain antiseptic mouthwashes can prevent the appearance or progression of gingivitis.

To protect your oral health…

…and prevent cavities, tartar, and gingivitis, follow the advice below:

  1. Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste containing sodium fluoride.
  2. Floss every day. It enables you to eliminate plaque that brushing alone cannot remove in hard-to-reach areas.
  3. Adopt a healthy diet. Avoid sugar; it is the worst enemy of dental health.
  4. Avoid smoking.In additional to causing bad breath and affecting the appearance of your teeth, smoking can cause oral diseases.
  5. Examine your mouth regularly in order to detect any potential problems (bleeding, bad breath, lesions or unusual appearance of the gums, etc.). Inform your dentist of any abnormalities.
  6. Visit your dentist regularly.
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Oral hygiene: a health practice

Tartar, cavities, gingivitis—problems that need treatment, but that are preventable owing to proper oral hygiene.
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