A 2010 survey showed that 49% Indians do not use a toothbrush. To ensure your bite and tooth-some smile remains impeccable, Manjari Bhatnagar offers a guide to oral hygiene

What is oral hygiene?
Oral hygiene relates to keeping your mouth clean. It particularly pertains to the teeth as they are the first to be affected by tartar and plaque resulting in dental decay and gum diseases. An oral hygiene regimen includes brushing and flossing followed by a fluoride mouthwash twice a day.

How to brush properly Some of techniques to brush the right way are as follows:
A. In gentle circular movements.
B. Place the brush at a 45 degree angle near the gum to clean the sides.
C. Gently scrub a couple of teeth at a time with short horizontal strokes.

Floss the germs away
Try to use dental floss regularly as it swipes clean the particles that get stuck between teeth and at the far end of the mouth.

How to choose a toothbrush
No toothbrush is better than the other for we all have different dental problems to tackle. So choose whether you need a brush with hard bristles or soft ones. And don't forget the size factor. The brush has to reach right upto the farthest tooth for optimum results.

What is tooth whitening?
Tooth whitening, also called tooth or dental bleaching, is the procedure to lighten discoloured teeth through chemical and mechanical procedures. Choose between bleaching strips, a bleaching pen, bleaching gel, laser bleaching, and natural bleaching to whiten teeth. Several toothpastes also come with teeth whiteners and are effective.

Are fluoride / gel toothpastes better?
Fluoride toothpastes are proven to be better than regular ones. Fluoride is the most important ingredient of a toothpaste and this naturally occurring mineral has shown dramatic results to arrest tooth decay and cavity formations. It makes your tooth enamel stronger and forms a protective cover around your teeth. Gel toothpastes contain silica gel and can be used if you reside in a fluoride-rich area, otherwise fluoride toothpastes are better options thanks to their benefits.

The study says..
A 2010 Consumer Usage and Attitudes Survey conducted across India showed that only 51 percent people brush their teeth with a toothpaste and a toothbrush. About 28 percent brush their teeth twice a day and 34 percent believe that brushing once a day is sufficient. Shockingly, 56 percent respondents felt that there are no serious consequences of not changing a toothbrush and 65 percent felt that improper eating habits do not cause dental problems.