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Avoid Bad Breath | Oral Hygiene | Seafarers Health

Updated: May 31, 2023

Poor oral health of seafarers is known to cause pain and suffering for individuals and logistical complications for shipping companies during voyages

Seafarers are at risk of several dental health problems due to their oral hygiene and dietary habits, smoking and alcohol consumption, poor oral hygiene knowledge and motivation. Dietary habits during voyages were also questionable and seafarers consume food rich in fermentable carbohydrates, which is a major risk factor for dental caries.

Tooth ache

Toothache may range from a distressing inconvenience to intense, miserable pain. Toothache is diffi cult to treat with only the medication and instruments in the ship’s medical chest. Toothache may adversely aff ect your performance, upset your concentration and generally pose a real safety risk. It is therefore extremely important to take good care of your teeth and have regular checkups at the dentist, especially before embarkation.

Prevention is better than cure ! Avoid Bad Breath | Oral Hygiene | Seafarers Health

Remember that dental care systems and the quality of care you may get in foreign ports may vary a lot from what you are used to. Prevention of tooth decay can really prevent a lot of pain and suff ering while onboard.

  1. Proper Brushing

But most seafarers (and other people) do not brush for nearly that long! To brush your teeth properly:

use short, gentle strokes

pay extra attention to the gumline, hard-to-reach back teeth, and areas around fi llings, crowns or other restoration work

concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section as follows:

fi rst the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth

then the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, followed by your lower teeth

fi nally clean the chewing surfaces

for fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue, too


A soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teethSmall-headed brushes can reach all areas of the mouth better A powered toothbrush can do a better job of cleaning teeth Replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear, or at least every three monthsIt is also very important to change toothbrushes after you’ve had a cold, since the bristles can collect germs


Use a toothpaste that’s right for you There is a wide variety of toothpastes for many conditions: cavities, gingivitis, tartar, stained teeth and sensitivity A small quantity of Fluoride in the saliva can prevent tooth decay so brush your teeth three times a day with a toothpaste containing FluorideToo much Fluor can cause white spots and stripes on the teeth, so don’t take Fluoride drops or tablets without consulting a dentist fi rst!

In case of emergency :

If you lose a fi lling or fi nd a hole or crack in the enamel (surface of the tooth), apply oil of cloves to the tooth surface. If there is a large hole or crack in the tooth, put a temporary dressing into the cavity as follows:

# fi rst isolate the tooth by putting a 5X5 cm piece of gauze on each side of it

# use a cotton bud or pellet to dry the cavity

# place a drop of oil of cloves on cotton wool, then gently press the cotton wool into the cavity and leave it in place

# Finally, remove the isolating gauze Emergency Toothache !

Repeat this procedure two to three times a day as necessary

Take pain relievers such as paracetamol 1000 mg orally

Rinse out your mouth with warm salty water for fi ve minutes every waking hour, until you can see a dentist

If you think you have an infection or abscess forming, antibiotics may be needed so consult your doctor or dentist as soon as possible

Seek medical advice urgently if you experience:

^^ diffi culty opening the mouth

^^ diffi culty swallowing

^^ drooling

^^ diffi culty breathing

^^ swelling in the neck

^^ pain much beyond the area of the infected tooth After a blow to the face or jaw, emergency dental care may save teeth Should a tooth be knocked out:

^^ handle it only by the crown

^^ rinse it with tap water

^^ do not scrub it

^^ attempt to place it back in its socket

^^ keep it in place with a fi nger or by biting it

^^ if unsuccessful, place it in milk or water

^^ seek medical advice and dental care!

Bad Breath :

How to have good breath?
avoid bad breath

Bad breath may be caused by certain diets, inadequate oral hygiene, stomach or intestinal problems, or disorders such as diabetes. Poor oral hygiene, advanced tooth decay or periodontal disease may also result in bad breath. For many, bad breath is caused by bacteria which collect in the ridges of the tongue. so try using a small plastic rake (tongue scraper) after cleaning your teeth. A germicidal mouth rinse, containing chlorine dioxide, may also be helpful. If you would like to have more information on Dental (Avoid Bad Breath | Oral Hygiene | Seafarers Health)

Eat at proper time

Do not be dehydrated

Brush Twice a day

Rince the mouth after eating

For Consultation : visit KMC Clinic | DGS Approved Medical Center | Dental & Family Care Clinic | Dr Kingson

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