The oral cavity has a highly diverse ecosystem, with up to 600 different microbial species that colonise different habitats. Oral biofilm (bacterial plaque) is a complex and organised community of microorganisms that work together to create conditions that support the survival of the most demanding bacterial species. The pathogenic bacteria that are found in oral biofilms are responsible for the aetiology of the two main oral diseases: caries and periodontitis. It is important to remember that neglecting oral hygiene can eventually lead to tooth loss.
- Use plaque disclosers. These make the oral biofilm visible and therefore easier to remove through brushing.
- Clean teeth daily. Tooth brushing is done to remove debris that is left behind in the mouth after eating, but particularly to eliminate dental bacterial plaque. It should be done at least three times per day and may require between three and four minutes.
- Tongue cleaning. Special tongue cleaners or scrapers exist to facilitate this job. Tongue cleaning should be done with a back-to-front movement to sweep away food debris, desquamated cells, mucus, bacteria, etc.
- Oral irrigators. The direct application of a stream of water or mouthwash helps remove bacterial build-up from teeth, gums and hard-to-reach areas.
- Mouthrinses (daily use or specific depending on the need), help to achieve complete oral hygiene, efficiently reduce oral biofilm and provide maximum freshness.
- Moderate intake of sugary foods. They should ideally be avoided altogether, but if they are consumed, teeth must be washed afterward.
- Visit the dentist regularly. It is advisable to visit the dentist for a check-up and for a professional cleaning at least 1-2 times per year.
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