Baby Care

Of Oral health and hygiene – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism

Saurabh Kumar Gupta, Karthik, S. Amanjot Kaur
World Oral Health Day is commemorated annually on March 20th to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and hygiene. In 2021, a three-year theme 2021-2023 was launched,” Be Proud of Your Mouth” i.e. Value and take Care of it. In the first year, the focus was on the impact of oral health on overall health, followed by the importance of a healthy mouth for happiness and well-being in the second year. Finally, in 2023, it is focusing on efforts for caring for your mouth at every stage/age of life.
Oral hygiene refers to the practice of maintaining the cleanliness of the mouth and teeth to prevent the occurrence of oral diseases such as tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Tooth decay or dental caries occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acid that damages the tooth’s enamel, causing a cavity. Gum disease or gingivitis is another common problem that affects the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth. This condition can cause bleeding, inflammation, and eventually, tooth loss if left untreated. Bad breath, or halitosis, is also a common oral health problem that can be caused by poor oral hygiene, certain foods, or medical conditions. By practicing good oral hygiene, individuals can not only maintain a healthy mouth but also promote overall body health and reduce the risk of developing a range of health problems.
Oral hygiene: a gateway to your overall body health
The mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body, and the health of the mouth is closely linked to the health of the body. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a build-up of harmful bacteria in the mouth, which can then enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body. This can increase the risk of developing a range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and even certain types of cancer. For example, gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, while poor oral health is a risk factor for respiratory infections such as pneumonia. Maintaining good oral hygiene can therefore help to prevent the occurrence of these health problems and promote overall body health.
Your oral health is a reflection of your overall health
The mouth can provide important clues about a person’s overall health, and several medical conditions can be diagnosed through a dental examination. For example, oral cancer is a serious condition that can present as abnormal growths, lesions, or discolored patches in the mouth or on the lips. People with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease because high blood sugar levels can make it harder for the body to fight off infections. Bleeding gums, loose teeth, and bad breath can all be signs of gum disease, which can be a warning sign of diabetes. Pale or inflamed gums can be a sign of anemia, as can a pale tongue and mouth lining. In addition to these conditions, dental exams can also reveal signs of nutritional deficiencies, autoimmune disorders, and other medical conditions. Regular dental check-ups are an important part of maintaining good oral health and overall health.
Healthy mouth, healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby
Oral hygiene during pregnancy is incredibly important for the health of both the mother and the developing baby. Pregnant women are more susceptible to dental problems due to hormonal changes (estrogen and progesterone) and the increased blood flow to the gums. Pregnancy gingivitis, a type of gum disease, is a common issue during pregnancy. Many pregnant women experience morning sickness, which can lead to vomiting and acid reflux. This acid can erode the enamel on the teeth, leading to tooth decay and sensitivity. Studies have also shown a link between gum disease and preterm birth, stillbirth, miscarriages, and low-weight babies. It’s advisable to get a pre-pregnancy oral check-up so that any tooth on the verge of decay or any gum disease can get its time management. Further, they can substitute their sugar cravings with alternatives like figs, raisins, and honey. Additionally, during nausea and vomiting, it is advised to avoid brushing for an hour to prevent tooth erosion, and rinsing with plain water is sufficient. Rinses with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and one tablespoon in one glass of water will further curb the acidic environment in the mouth.
By maintaining good oral hygiene, women can reduce their risk of needing emergency dental procedures.
Oral Health Tips for children aged 0-3 years
* Newborns may not have teeth, but they need the care of gum pads. Gum pads should be cleaned daily with cotton pads after feeding the baby.
* Teething: It can be uncomfortable for the child, starting at around 6 months. It is always beneficial to give a cold clean and moist washcloth or a clean solid teething ring to facilitate eruption. However, teething rings filled with fluid should be avoided.
* When the first teeth erupt, a small soft bristled brush can be used.
* Brush for 2 minutes, 2 times a day, and importantly before bedtime.
* Sugary beverages should be avoided, water is the best liquid apart from milk.
* By age 1, the child should be encouraged to use an open-lid cup instead of a bottle.
Oral Health Tips for children aged 3-6 years
* Regular brushing twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoridated toothpaste
* Seek the help of the dentist if the child continues to suck fingers or thumbs, as it can affect the alignment of teeth and jaws.
* As soon as permanent teeth erupt at the age of 6 years, pit and fissure sealants.
Protect your smile: Preventive care is the key
Maintaining good oral health requires a combination of good oral hygiene habits and regular dental check-ups.
Brushing: Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle toward the teeth and gums. Gently press against the gums so the tips of the bristles go in between the gum and the teeth. Then apply a few lateral strokes and roll down the brush to sweep the plaque away from the teeth and the gum. Be sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the front, back, and chewing surfaces. Your dentist can recommend modifications to your brushing technique based on your individual needs and oral health condition.
Flossing: Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth. Use a gentle back-and-forth motion and be sure to floss between each tooth.
Mouthwash: Use mouthwash after brushing, follow the instructions on the label, measure the amount (usually 20-30 ml or 4-6 teaspoons), swish and gargle (30-60 seconds), and don’t rinse your mouth or eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes after use. It’s important to remember that using mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing. Use mouthwash as directed by your dentist or on the label. Overuse of mouthwash can lead to dry mouth and mouthwashes also contain alcohol, which can be irritating to the gums and oral tissues.
Healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help to promote good oral health. Avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks, as they can contribute to tooth decay.
Regular dental checkups: Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. Your dentist can identify and treat any oral health problems before they become more serious. Let’s join our hands together for achieving optimal oral health for all.

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