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No dates? Ward off bad breath!

Tanya Munshi | October 11, 2005

Part I: How to dazzle with your smile

With such such an array of toothbrushes, toothpastes and other dental products flooding the markets these days, a shopping trip to the grocers might leave you totally puzzled.

Here are some tips on how to purchase dental products and practice oral hygiene.

image Say goodbye to bad breath  

~ The most common cause for bad breath is improper brushing. Food particles accumulated between the spaces of your teeth give off an odour.

~ The other reasons could be tartar and stains in the mouth, which result in increased bacterial growth.

~ Colds, coughs and sore throats are also reasons for bad breath, because the surrounding area in the mouth has increased bacterial content.

Thus, regular brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash should help reduce bad breath. And you should attend to colds, coughs, and sore throat quickly.

~ Bad breath can also be a sign of indigestion. So watch what you eat.

~ Try and keep a small box/container/bag in your office drawer with cloves in it. Every now and then you can pop in one or two cloves.

Keep the cloves pressed between your molars, don't chew. Let it remain in the mouth. Cloves helps you have fresh breath.

~ Sugar-free gum works too.

Dental hygiene at work

i. Avoid in between snacks -- just stick to a proper breakfast, lunch, and dinner regime. If you feel hungry, have an apple or pack a tiffin of sliced cucumbers and carrots and munch on them as and when your hunger pangs attack between meals.

ii. Drink plenty of water.

iii. Always rinse your mouth after meals.

iv. Try and keep a folding toothbrush and travel toothpaste in your office drawer or bag. You can always brush your teeth post lunch or dinner.

Even if you cannot keep toothpaste, brushing your teeth with water is good enough, as it will remove all the food lodged in the mouth.

v. Try and have a fresh fruit, which is fibrous, such as an apple, after lunch.

vi. Reduce your sugar intake in your coffee or tea during work hours.

vii. Whenever possible chew on sugar-free gum.

Home remedies

Dr Sonal Arora, a dentist who manages her own clinic in Mumbai, suggests some home remedies for teeth/gum trouble.

Pain: Sometimes cavities can cause a lot of pain and you cannot visit a dentist soon. The safest painkiller to take is Paracetamol. But follow that up with an appointment with your dentist.

But make sure this medicine is taken on a full stomach and do not take the second pill of Paracetamol until six hours later.

Bleeding gums: If have bleeding gums rinse your mouth with warm salt water. This gives a lot of relief.

Swelling: Avoid eating hot food. Place an icepack on your cheek in the area of the pain Do not use a warm compress ; it will aggravate the swelling. Avoid clove oil because these days refined clove oil is not available.

Selecting the right product

Selecting the correct dental product for yourself is as crucial as eating right and staying healthy. After all, every part of your body needs utmost attention and care.

Why leave out oral care? Dr Arora suggests some basic points to remember while buying oral care products:

i. Any Indian tooth paste or tooth brush should be Indian Dental Association (IDA) approved or if it is a foreign brand you can check if it is American Dental Association (ADA) approved.

ii. Toothbrushes vary from soft to medium, but never use hard-bristled brushes. Hard-bristled brushes will hurt your gums.

iii. Some people may have a space between their teeth. For such cases, use a brush with bristles which are at different levels or the zigzag variety.

Dr Arora further adds, "There is a new product which will be soon entering the Indian market called an interdental water pick. Dental product dealers or any custom notified and duty free shops [stock it]. Oral-B is soon coming out with this product. It costs about $25 abroad, which should be about Rs 1,106.

How does a water pick work?

The water pick is a device, which helps you clean your teeth better. You need to fill it up with water, which comes out in a jet at a high speed to dislodge all the particles in the spaces between your teeth.

It comes with multiple tips; hence your entire family can use it. You can follow this by a regular mouthwash.

"The water pick can be used daily, morning and night, or as often as you want to or is convenient to you. It has no side effects and but mind you, nothing can ever replace a tooth brush, " concludes Dr. Arora.

Dental care for kids

Teething is a natural process whereby milk teeth emerge. This process starts when your child is six months to about two years old. "Oral care for children should start right from the time their first tooth appears," suggests Dr Kulkarni.

~ You can apply toothpaste on to your fingertip and gently rub their teeth and gums.

~ "You can use a finger brush. A finger brush is a small rubber brush, which can be worn on your finger. You can then gently clean your child's teeth in circular motion. It is always good to start oral care and hygiene from a young age, " says Dr Arora.

~ Apart from brushing, morning and night, get your kids to cultivate the habit of rinsing their mouth with water after every meal or snack, especially after eating chocolates. It is a habit which has to be inculcated from young age.

So what are you waiting for? Follow these basic rules and tips for a healthy set of teeth and gums, and dazzle the world with a great smile.

Part I: How to dazzle with your smile

DON'T MISS!

 



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