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Oral Hygiene Techniques


Not brushing your teeth can kill you. The commonly known link among dental and medical professionals between poor oral hygiene and risk of heart attack has been substantiated in a new study. The process involves a common bacteria which is responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. This bacteria breaks out into the bloodstream and helps blood clots to form.

Brushing your teeth is the number one action you can take to ensure a healthy, beautiful smile. Advantages of correct tooth brushing are the following:

  • Healthy gums
  • Less likelihood of getting cavities and other oral diseases
  • Good breath
  • Less stains on teeth


Effective cleaning is achieved with an effective form of inter-dental cleaning between the teeth. Normal healthy gum tissue fill the space under the contact points of adjacent teeth. This gum tissue protects the area between teeth. If the teeth are displaced or rotated the gum seal could be broken and disease introduced under this gum.

The slightly wider gum area between back teeth is particularly prone to disease. Many people never clean these areas of the gum with either floss or inter-dental brushes. The result is periodontal disease which causes loss of the bone designed to support the teeth.

Brushing alone only cleans about 60% of the surface of your teeth, so it is important that you also clean between your teeth every time you brush. Flossing is necessary for people who have tight contacts between their teeth since such contacts trap food and it is difficult to clean. Flossing should be done before brushing.

Dental floss is either a bundle of thin nylon filaments or a plastic ( teflon or polyethylene) ribbon used to remove food and dental plaque from teeth. The floss is gently inserted between the teeth and scraped along the teeth sides, especially close to the gums. Dental floss may be flavored or unflavored and waxed or unwaxed. The waxed and flavoured varieties of flossing thread are easier to use and give a greater feeling of freshness.


Mouthwash is used in rinsing the mouth. It functions in eliminating bacteria or food particles from areas beyond the reach of a toothbrush and floss. Many people use a mouthwash as part of their daily oral health routine usually to help freshen breath. Some mouthwashes contain an anti-bacterial agent which reduces gum disease and contro ls plaque. Antiseptic and anti- plaque mouth rinse disinfects all the oral tissues, including the tongue.

Mouthwashes contain alcohol to enhance the taste, helps in the cleansing action and add to the antibacterial effect. However, some people find alcohol mouthwashes too strong and prefer a milder alternative that is alcohol free.

Some mouthwashes, especially those containing Chlorhexidine, are particularly effective at treating gum infections and other oral problems, such as those following a dental extraction. These mouthwashes must be used in moderation and not used over a long period of time. This is because they can cause staining, although this can be easily removed by the dentist. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions at all times.

Some mouthwashes contain anti-bacterial agents which work against the oral bacteria responsible for producing unpleasant odours and plaque. Some total care mouthwashes contain a variety of ingredients to control plaque, dental decay and gum inflammation.

Chewing Gum

Chewing Gums are the most recent additions to the list of approved oral health care product. Several years of study and research have concluded that sugar-free gum can actually reduce the risk of cavities.

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals has clinically proven benefits for oral health. The expert reviews and statements from authoritative bodies indicate that chewing sugar-free gum can help reduce the risk of dental caries (cavities).

Cleaning of Teeth

A safe procedure by a dentist to keep your gums healthy and firm. Scaling involves removal of infected deposits like plaque, calculus and stains from the surface of teeth. While Root Planing removes roughened cementum and surface dentin that is impregnated with calculus, microorganisms and their toxins.

The procedures are also known as conventional periodontal therapy or non-surgical periodontal therapy. The instruments used include ultrasonic instruments, periodontal scalers and curettes.

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Indian Dental Association
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