Dental Care

The Fundamentals of Dental Hygiene and Oral Health

Oral hygiene is an essential aspect of overall well-being. Ignoring it can lead to a host of dental problems that may cause a whole range of health issues down the road. Maintaining proper dental hygiene should be a habit that is cultivated from childhood, but it’s never too late to start!

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Plaque Formation and Dental Hygiene:

The mouth is full of bacteria, which can thrive and reproduce to form sticky plaque. The plaque then latches onto teeth and gum, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Therefore, mechanically removing plaque through brushing and flossing is necessary to prevent the development of these conditions. Tooth decay can lead to cavities, while gum disease can cause inflammation or even bone loss.


One of the most important aspects of oral hygiene is brushing teeth. Brushing removes the plaque from the teeth and gums that are responsible for causing tooth decay and gum disease. It is advisable to brush teeth in the morning and before going to bed. While brushing, make sure to move the brush gently up and down and in circular motions. Brushing should always be done for at least two minutes.


While brushing removes plaque from the surfaces of the teeth, it cannot reach the spaces between the teeth, where plaque also forms. This is where flossing comes in. Flossing involves using a thin string or tape to remove the plaque from the gaps between the teeth where a brush cannot reach. It is recommended that you floss at least once a day – it only takes a minute!

Photos: Record number of patients receive free dental care - University of  Mississippi Medical Center


Mouthwash is an additional tool that can be used to remove plaque from the mouth. It can also freshen breath and can reduce the risk of gum disease. Select a mouthwash containing fluoride to strengthen the enamel on your teeth.


Diet plays a significant role in dental hygiene. Sugary foods and drinks, especially soda, contribute to tooth decay. It’s important to include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. This will not only help maintain dental hygiene, but it will also improve overall health.

Regular Check-ups:

Regular dental check-ups are important to make sure that teeth and gums are healthy, and to identify and treat any dental or oral health issues in their early stages. Regular cleanings will also remove any bacterial build-up that cannot be removed through brushing and flossing.

Oral hygiene is fundamental to overall well-being. The importance of brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash cannot be overstated. Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet, with minimal sugary foods and drinks, is also necessary for dental hygiene. Regular dental check-ups are also essential to identify and address any issues before they become a crisis. By maintaining good dental hygiene, we create a strong foundation for overall health and well-being.

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