How to Maintain Good Oral Health?

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Be sure to mind your words before you let them out. This proverb says to check the words you speak before speaking them out so that they do not unnecessarily hurt others. But you could speak the good and right words wherever they are needed. It is equally important to protect your mouth and your oral health. Here, let’s have a look at how to maintain good oral health.

How to Maintain Good Oral health?

There are some tips that you could follow to maintain good oral health. Some of the ways to maintain good oral health are given below : 

1) Brush properly

The way you brush plays a significant role in protecting your teeth. You don’t have to exert more pressure on your teeth while brushing. However, while brushing, make sure that you clean all parts of the teeth (back, front, sides, and top).

  • Make sure that your toothbrush faces your gums at about 45 degrees.
  • The two minutes you take for brushing have to tell how well you brush.
  • Split the two minutes into 30 seconds each. Use each 30 seconds on one of the four corners of your mouth, which are top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right.
  • Take your own time, gently moving the toothbrush in smooth, circular motions to clear off plaque. The accumulation of the unremoved plaque could become hard, resulting in calculus buildup and gingivitis.

Gingivitis is an early gum disease that causes redness, swelling, irritation, and bleeding of the gingiva. Gingivitis is also known as periodontal disease. Gingiva is the part of your gum that is around the base of your teeth.

2) Brush your teeth before going to bed

Many might have been advised to brush their teeth at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth after you wake up will help you get rid of the germs that were developed during your sleep. If you brush at night, it will remove the plaque and germs that were formed during the day. But most of them neglect brushing their teeth at night. Brushing at night before going to bed will help maintain your oral health. 

3) Take care of your tongue

Remember to scrape your tongue with the help of a tongue scraper. Plaque can develop not only on your teeth but also on your tongue. This plaque will result in a bad mouth odour, and it could also cause several oral health problems. So, brush your tongue gently using a smooth scraper after you brush your teeth.

 4) Use fluoride toothpaste for brushing

The fluoride content prevents cavities and helps fight tooth decay. So, use a toothpaste containing fluoride, which is wiser to use than toothpastes containing whitening power and flavors. You could select either the old version or the new version of the fluoride toothpaste, which is more suitable for you.

The fluoride content in the toothpaste simply fights against the germs that cause tooth decay. Also, fluoride acts as a protective barrier for your teeth.

5) Give importance to flossing along with brushing

Many of them brush regularly but ignore flossing. The science behind flossing is that it helps trigger the gums, minimise plaque, and reduce inflammation in that area. The common purpose of flossing is to wipe away the little pieces of food or broccoli that get stuck in between your teeth. You can just floss once a day.

How do you floss your teeth the right way?

Flossing might be hard for young children and adults with arthritis. So, you can use the proper tool that helps you floss your teeth.

  • Try to use your floss tool in a proper way so that it does not hurt your gums. 
  • For that, keep the floss between your teeth.
  • Use that floss in an up-and-down motion.
  • Be gentle and smooth while you floss.
  • Ask for help from your dentist.
  • Make sure that you dispense a piece of dental floss whose length is equal to the distance between your shoulders.
  • Ready-to-use dental flossers from the medical shops could make a difference.

6) Consider using a good mouthwash

You can use mouthwash if you are interested in using it. But choose a wise mouthwash that cleans the hard-to-brush regions in and around the gums, minimises the acid amount in the mouth, and remineralizes the teeth. Mouthwashes are a good option for children and older people who do not have the ability to brush and floss ideally.

Consult your dentist to recommend a specific mouthwash. Some mouthwashes are best for children and people who have sensitive teeth.

7) Avoid or limit drinking acidic drinks

You can use a straw or swish water in your mouth afterward to remove the acids. Some foods and beverages contain a large amount of acid, which will wear away the enamel that protects your teeth. This wearing away is also called tooth erosion. This erosion might alter the look of your teeth and pave the way for cavities and infection-causing bacteria.

8) Don’t use your teeth for misleading activities

Chew your food using your teeth; don’t use them for biting a packet. Heavy tooth wear might be a sign that you have used your teeth for unwanted activities like nail biting, etc.

If the enamel on the biting edges of your teeth gets worn away, then a darker-coloured surface called dentin will appear. It wears down much faster than tooth enamel. This damages especially your lower front teeth. 

9) Drink enough water

Drinking a sufficient amount of water keeps your mouth clean and hygienic. The acids present in plaque, food, and beverages could affect your tooth enamel. So, drinking water will dilute those acids and help protect your teeth. Drinking clean water could help wash away the debris and residues that might result in the stain. Drinking water also lowers the bacteria that causes bad breath and protects your tooth enamel.

10) Avoid smoking

Smoking causes almost all types of diseases by causing many health problems. It might be hard for some to believe that smoking affects oral health. But is it true that smoking affects your oral health? There is a higher risk of developing mouth cancer (oral), tooth loss, tooth root decay, and gum issues for people who smoke. Smoking people could find complications after tooth removal, gum, and oral surgery.

Mouth cancer is an aggressive cancer that grows in one’s mouth. So, quit smoking to safeguard your oral health.

11) Do not chew or eat tobacco

Eating or chewing tobacco is unhealthy for your mouth. Smokeless tobacco use could result in nicotine addiction. This habit of eating tobacco increases a person’s risk of being diagnosed with mouth, pancreatic, esophageal, and stomach cancer. The pancreas is a gland that aids in digestion and regulates the proper blood sugar levels. If the pancreas is affected, it might also cause digestive issues.

12) Avoid drinking alcohol to protect your throat

Drinking alcohol might dry out the mouth. Saliva helps with oral health by washing away bacteria. Due to the dry mouth, when the saliva flow is lowered, the risk for tooth decay and gum disease will increase. Moreover, during dry mouth (due to alcohol consumption), the bacteria stick to the enamel, increasing the tooth decay risk.

13) Protect yourself from unnecessary mouth injuries

Make sure that you protect your teeth from injury if you are an athlete or a sportsperson. A sudden fall or knock on the face could cause a cut on the lips or tongue or a dislodged tooth. Mouth injuries lead to heavy bleeding or swelling, which might necessitate emergency medical treatment due to the increased risk of a blocked airway.

So, avoid habits like beating on the mouth, or never allow others to vibrantly beat on your mouth.

14) Gargling with salt water

As many of you know, salt has antibacterial properties, so it might destroy the odour-producing microbes in your mouth. Also, the gargling action cleanses your mouth and clears off the food pieces that might get rotten or cause bad breath. So, regular saltwater gargling might help keep your breath fresh. 

What does gargling salt water do?

Gargling your mouth with salt water helps ease pain and inflammation caused by a sore throat.

This simple home remedy might lower the harmful bacteria in your mouth, thus reducing the risk of gingivitis and cavities.

You can just mix about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt in every 8 ounces of warm water. After you mix them well, you could use them for gargling.

You could use this method at least twice a month.

15) Limit eating sugary foods

Limit eating the sugary food, which may cause tooth decay. When you eat sugar, it interacts with the bacteria inside the plaque and generates acid. This acid causes tooth decay as it gradually dissolves the enamel and forms holes or cavities in the teeth. Tooth decay could result in tooth abscesses, which might cause the removal of the tooth. So, if you wish to eat a sweet, have it alongside lunch or dinner. Otherwise, limit eating sugary foods.

16) Have regular dental checkups

People with a higher risk of oral or mouth diseases must visit their dentist every three to six months. People with a lower risk of oral diseases can have a checkup every one to two years. But children must have dental check-ups every six months. This is because children often eat sugary foods that might affect their oral health. 

Why is oral health so important?

Oral health refers to the state of the mouth, teeth, and orofacial structures that helps individuals perform certain functions like eating, speaking, and breathing.

It highlights psychosocial dimensions like well-being, self-confidence, and the capability to work without pain or discomfort.

If there is no oral hygiene, then the germs could reach levels that may result in infections, like tooth decay and gum disease. Some medicines, like antihistamines, painkillers, decongestants, waterpills, and antidepressants, can lower the flow of spit, thus causing dry mouth. So, drinking enough water is a general tip to maintain your oral health.

What habits can negatively impact your oral health?

Some people have certain habits that impact their oral health. Those habits that negatively impact your oral health include:

1) Nail biting

Many think that nail biting will only break the fingernails. But this habit also provides the risk of wearing our front teeth down or even chipping them. The grinding of the teeth unintentionally will lead to headaches, tooth loss, and sensitivity.

2) Brushing the teeth too hard

Brushing aggressively will not make the teeth clean. Instead, it might irritate the gums, recede them, and wear down the tooth enamel. So, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and clean the teeth gently.

3) Pens or pencils biting

Some people, when they are in a class, in a meeting, or deeply thinking, will chew on their pens or pencils. This action will make the tissue inside the teeth irritated, which might also crack or chip the teeth.

4) Jaw clenching and teeth grinding

Some people have the habits of jaw clenching and teeth grinding. These habits can negatively impact your dental health by wearing down your teeth. These also result in the loosening of the teeth, the receding of gums, headaches, and other issues like jaw pain. You might consult your doctor for better tips to reduce such habits.

5) Chewing on ice

In some cases, chewing on ice might result in a cracked or chipped tooth and gum injuries. So, kindly avoid biting ice, even if you add in the juices.

6) Poor nutritional choices

Candy, baked treats, soda, cookies, etc. are some of the sugary foods that cause cavities. For example, daily consumption of cakes could result in tooth decay and even tooth loss.

7) Smoking cigarettes

Smoking cigarettes leads to many drawbacks, like lung cancer, gum disease, mouth cancer, emphysema, yellowing of the teeth, and heart disease. Then, you could adopt new ways, like listening to music, singing, etc., to quit smoking.

8) Playing sports without a mouth guard

Playing sports without wearing a mouth guard might result in knocking out the teeth. A mouth guard helps prevent the risk of cracking or chipping a tooth.

9) Thumb sucking

Many infants suck their thumbs, which is unhealthy for oral health. It might affect the permanent teeth. You can talk to your pediatrician to seek help breaking that habit in your child.

10) Tongue piercing

A tongue piercing for a longer time can result in receding gums and chipped or cracked teeth. This habit might cause damage and, eventually, tooth loss over time.

11) Using the teeth to open packages, bottles, or other items

You might use your teeth to open a package, bottle, or other item. Many think this habit is a style, but it is really a faux pas. This is because it might break the teeth or damage a tooth filling. Tooth decay can lead to chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth. So, use proper and safer tools for opening such items, not your mouth.


There are many hygiene habits and lifestyle changes that help maintain good oral health. Drinking enough water, gargling with salt water, etc. are some of the good habits that help reduce the germs in your mouth and protect your oral health. Additionally, certain habits, like avoiding smoking, avoiding drinking alcohol, and stopping chewing tobacco, not only protect your oral health but also your overall health.


1) Does the rubbing of salt on teeth improve your oral health?

Rubbing the salt on your teeth will remove the tartar and other stains. However, the abrasive property could affect your enamel, which might get damaged when you rub salt on your teeth.

2) Does tobacco use affect your saliva?

Yes, tobacco use affects your saliva. Long-term tobacco use will increase the epinephrine effect. Morever, tobacco usage induces the nicotine to defunct the taste receptors, lower the salivary response, or cause the degeneration of the salivary gland.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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