Oral care is a process of keeping the oral cavity clean so as to avoid disease germs. Keeping teeth and mouth clean is one of the efforts to improve health. The mouth is not just for the entrance of food and drink but the function of the mouth is more than that and not many people realize the great role of the mouth for a person’s health and well-being. Therefore, the health of the teeth and mouth plays a very important role in supporting a person’s health.
Dental care is considered not too important, even though its benefits are very vital in supporting health and appearance. Preventive measures against dental and oral diseases need to be done so that there is no disruption of function, activity (studying and working), and a decrease in work productivity which will certainly affect the quality of life.
Why Should We Maintain Oral Hygiene?
Oral hygiene must be taken care of because the food residue found in the teeth can cause the growth of germs that cause: tooth cavities, canker sores and bad breath. Poor oral care causes one of them to be dental caries. Dental caries is one of the chronic diseases that most often affects individuals of all ages. Dental caries is the main oral problem in children and teenagers.
Efforts to reduce the incidence of caries in childhood are very important to do, even the cause and effect is also very necessary to be overcome properly, because if not dealt with it will cause total damage to teeth that are damaged due to caries. Caries is a disease of the hard tissue of the tooth, namely enamel, dentin and cementum, caused by the activity of trace elements in a carbohydrate that can be fermented. The sign is the demineralization of the tooth’s hard tissue which is then followed by the destruction of its organic matter.
Poor dental and oral hygiene is caused by the presence of debris and plaque that can cause demineralization of the tooth structure resulting in caries. If left untreated, caries will continue to develop until it results in the death of the pulp and the spread of infection to the periapical tissue which triggers pain that interferes with activity. Often this pain is also accompanied by swelling, loss of appetite, body weakness, and increased body temperature/fever. Poor dental and oral hygiene can also cause plaque and calculus. Plaque and calculus contribute to the occurrence of gingivitis which can develop into periodontal disease characterized by swollen, bleeding, pus-filled gums, bad breath, loose teeth and even loosening on their own.
Routine oral care is by brushing the teeth and gargling.
1. Clean teeth and gums with a soft toothbrush 2-3 times a day for 2-3 minutes
2. If the comb is too hard, soak it in hot water every 15-30 minutes to soften the bristles
3. Dry the toothbrush if not in use (do not wet it)
4. Selection of toothpaste (the taste is not too strong, if the toothpaste irritates the mouth gargle with 240 ml of water given 1 teaspoon of salt, use toothpaste that contains fluoride
• Rinse your mouth 3-4 times every time you brush your teeth
• Avoid gargling with substances containing alcohol
• Antibacterial mouthwash can be used 2-4 times per day to overcome gum problems.
Oral care in cancer patients suffering from mucositis is considered as the basis for achieving optimal health, integrity, and function of the oral mucosa. Oral care can reduce the colonization of oral cavity microorganisms, reduce pain, and prevent soft tissue infections of the oral cavity that are at risk of becoming systemic infections. The basic components of oral care include evaluation of the condition of the oral cavity, patient and/or family education, tooth brushing, flossing, and gargling. A study in Hong Kong reported that with oral care, the incidence of oral mucositis was reduced by 38%. The degree of pain and severity of oral mucositis is also significantly reduced.
Therefore, perform oral care regularly so that oral health is maintained and avoided from diseases that enter through the mouth.