Article written by :bishnupada
Dr. Bishnupada Samanta
Consultant Dental Surgeon ( General Dentistry )

What is Oral Health?

Dental & Oral Health is defined as a state of being free from mouth and facial pain, oral diseases and disorders that limit an individual’s capacity in biting,chewing,smiling,speaking and psychosocial well being. (WHO)

So,a healthy mouth,free of infections,injuries and problems with teeth and gums is important in maintaining the overall health of our mouth.

Maintenance of Oral Hygiene

Dental problems can affect other parts of our body. So, failing to take  proper care for our oral health may lead to other health problems.

The following simple steps should be practised daily in order to prevent or minimise any oral health problems –

  1. Brushing – Brushing our teeth twice a day using a toothpaste containing fluoride is the cornerstone of good dental health. Cleaning the tongue is equally important that must be followed by rinsing mouth well.
  2. Flossing – Flossing breaks up plaque on the surface between teeth and under the gums.This helps to remove food particles missed when brushing.
  3. Rinsing mouth with a non-alcohol based Mouthwash twice a day can reduce plaque build up that can lead to gum infections.
  4. 4. Taking good care of toothbrush,floss pics,tongue cleaner by keeping them covered and soaking them in a mixture of mouthwash and hydrogen peroxide ensures safety.
  5. Diet containing sugary snacks and sodas leads to cavities and other dental problems.So to avoid such conditions,diet should be rich in vitamins and minerals that contribute to healthy teeth and gums.
  6. Visiting a Dentist twice a year for routine examination and procedures is highly recommended.

This aforesaid routine should begin with infancy and continue for the rest of the life to ensure sound teeth and gums and a healthy mouth.

Oral Health and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted Oral Health around the globe.There has been a significant disruption in dentistry services and patients’ willingness to seek dental care.This could  result in increasing numbers of late dental complications and untreated dental emergencies.

A study by British researches have indicated a link between poor oral hygiene and severity of COVID-19 disease caused by corona virus infection.

During this pandemic, while its okay for patients wanting a crown or regular cleaning to put their plan on hold, but certain procedures should not be delayed.Some home remedies can give a temporary relief or some issues can be handled through teleconsultation, but severe pain related to swelling,inflammation,fracture tooth,bleeding etc. are denoted as dental emergencies and visit to a dental professional is necessary.

People are apprehensive in visiting a dental clinic but there is no cause of fear since the clinics are directed to follow proper guidelines to prevent any contamination related to corona virus.

In this regard, protocols that are  being followed are-

-Use of Personal Protective Equipment(PPE)

-Disinfection of the space

-Air purification by indoor portable air cleaning system equipped with HEPA filter and UV light

-Proper surface cleaning

-Maintenance of social distance

-Proper sterilization of the instruments

-High speed evacuation during aerosol generating procedures

-Hand sanitization at regular intervals

-Proper fumigation etc.

So, let us all take a pledge to give priority to maintain a healthy mouth and practice good oral hygiene and make it a daily commitment.

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