It is definitely common knowledge that good oral health is important in life. However, many people have no clue why, other than having perfect teeth and good breath. Avoiding cavities and tooth decay will save you from pain or eventual tooth loss but you may not realize that you are also contributing to good overall health.
In fact, almost 2 out of 10 people do not have any idea how keeping top oral habits will keep them healthy. This is not good, because even something as simple as bleeding gums will not just point to oral habits, but will determine the person’s risk of serious medical problems like stroke or heart disease. In fact, having gum disease will increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and for pregnant women, underweight babies. For more information on the link between oral and overall health, browse this site.
So beyond maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly, good oral health is just as important. Unfortunately, many people do not have the habits to take great care of their teeth. Less than half brush their teeth less than once a day, and if they do, they would only do it for less than a minute, less than the recommended 2 minutes or more. Lots of people do not even change their toothbrush.
It is important to raise awareness of the connection between oral hygiene and overall health. Not only is keeping the teeth clean the key to a life without these serious lifelong diseases, but the state of the whole mouth matters. Gum disease and bad breath are also signs of bad oral habits.
The solution is simple, as keeping your whole mouth healthy can be easily achieved by the following steps.
Brushing Your Teeth
It is important to clean your mouth at least twice a day, with a firm toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Toothbrushes should be replaced regularly because old ones are no longer able to clean teeth properly or might even damage your gums. Toothpaste with fluoride, on the other hand, will clean your teeth and leave them with a layer of fluoride that will provide additional protection.
How you brush your teeth also determines the status of your oral health. Many people focus on parts that are easy to see and reach, forgetting to reach for the back teeth. Some do not spend enough time brushing their teeth and therefore might be leaving behind food particles that can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
Visiting Your Dentist Regularly
Many do not realize that dentists can possibly point to existing medical conditions. Of course, they cannot really diagnose it, but if they notice certain symptoms in the mouth, they might recommend specific tests to check deeper. Having the same dentist and coming regularly can be good for looking for possible symptoms.
Tooth-Friendly Eating Habits
A diet rich in sugar will have a huge effect in maintaining your oral health. Sugar can cause tooth decay, which is why avoiding sweet snacks is a good step. Moreover, drinking acidic drinks such as fruit juice and even diet cola will lead to tooth enamel loss. If possible, reach for milk or water instead.
Of course, avoiding them fully is not possible for everyone. If you do drink sugary drinks, do it only during mealtimes. Sipping these drinks slowly is also a bad habit because the teeth are constantly exposed to sugar. The same goes for snacking often, so if you like to have smaller and more frequent meals, opt for sugar-free snacks like nuts or vegetable sticks.
Brushing your teeth immediately after meals is also bad, because every time you clean your teeth, you do away with small pieces of enamel. To avoid this, you should wait at least one hour after eating before brushing your teeth.
Lastly, you can chew some sugar-free chewing gum to increase saliva production. Saliva is able to neutralize acids in the mouth after eating or drinking. This way, you can prevent tooth decay, especially when it is not possible for you to brush your teeth after eating.
Your teeth and mouth belong to your whole body, which is why it is only understandable that oral health affects the state of the rest of the system. While you might not think that keeping great oral habits can actually keep you healthy longer, research has proven this to be true.