A HEALTHY mouth is an important part of overall good health. Our teeth play a key role in our appearance and well-being. However, having healthy teeth and gums requires more than daily maintenance and regular dental check-ups.

Discipline is a key ingredient in ensuring excellent dental health.

Whatever your age is, you can have a healthy mouth and a pleasant smile. Correct dental care can help you keep your teeth for a lifetime. If you take care of your teeth, they will help take care of you.

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Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers for us to have healthy teeth and gums for life!

How do you maintain the health of your teeth?

Regular tooth brushing remains to be the cornerstone of oral hygiene practice. Effective tooth brushing removes plaque (a sticky mixture of food and bacteria in our mouth) thus preventing tooth decay. Ideally, this should be done after every meal especially just before going to sleep.

Maintaining good oral hygiene, eating right and visiting your dentist regularly are the answers to your problems. To maintain healthy teeth, follow your dentist's advice and do your part in overcoming teeth problems.

What is the step-by-step guide in proper tooth brushing?

Brushing thoroughly should take at least 3-4 minutes. If you're using fluoridated toothpaste and you want to prevent tooth decay, a no-rinsing method after tooth brushing is advised. Fluoride works only if it is left on the teeth for a period of time.

What should you look for in a toothbrush?

A soft nylon bristle is the best kind of toothbrush to use. It should have a round head small enough to fit into all areas of your mouth and a wide handle with a firm grip. It should be replaced every three months.

Is there any special tool or procedures that is recommended to supplement tooth brushing?

Flossing is also important for oral health and is considered as an essential daily tool. A lot of people find flossing to be difficult and time-consuming but it removes plaque between the teeth and along the gum line thus preventing cavities and periodontal disease.

Do dentists recommend battery or electric toothbrushes?

Yes. The motion of their rotating brush heads greatly reduces plaque thereby greatly reducing the formation of tooth decay and gum disease. This is especially effective for people with poor dexterity - children, older people and people with special needs. Most children are more motivated to brush their teeth when using these power toothbrushes because it's fun to use.

How often should you go to the dentist for check-up or cleaning?

Ideally, you should visit your dentist every six months for a check-up and cleaning. We advise that you visit your dentist more often if you have gum disease, is prone to tooth decay, and have poor oral hygiene.

DOs and DON'Ts for proper dental care: DO visit your dentist at least every six months and DO select a toothbrush appropriate for you; DON'T go to sleep without brushing your teeth (when we are asleep, saliva slows down its production, thus greatly diminishing its flushing action), and DON'T snack frequently. (Dr. Raquel P. Ramos | Light That Transforms)