In today’s society, we’re encouraged to think about our health, to look after ourselves, and maintain a good diet and lifestyle. By doing this, we reduce our risks of developing a whole host of diseases and increase our chances of living a long, healthy life.
Our oral health should also play a big role in an overall healthy lifestyle. Many people don’t realize how important the mouth is and how poor oral hygiene can cause a multitude of potentially serious illnesses.
Read on to find out the importance of looking after your teeth and how to establish a good dental health routine.
Find A Good Dentist
Keeping your mouth healthy and that smile perfect really is a team effort between you, your dentist, and dental hygienist. From how to fix a chipped tooth to a scale and polish, visiting the dentist regularly is vital. Prevention is the aim, but if you do develop any issues, your dentist can spot them early and help fix them.
If you haven’t visited the dentist in a long time and are self-conscious about your teeth, or worry that a dentist is going to lecture you, don’t be. Many dentists specialize in working with nervous patients with complex restorative needs. Don’t let it be one of those health concerns you ignore until you’re in pain with a severe toothache.
Realize How Important Your Oral Health Is To Your Overall Health
Everyone’s mouths are full of bacteria. In the majority of people, this isn’t a problem, and the bacteria are kept under control by your immune system and a good brushing and flossing routine. A CDC report showed that 47.2% of adults aged over 30 suffered from periodontal disease.
Without a good hygiene system in place, these bacteria levels can rise and start to affect different parts of the body as well as causing bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay.
The saliva in your mouth helps to wash away bacteria and if that delicate balance is affected, it can also lead to a rise in bacteria. Things that affect your saliva levels include diet, dehydration, and a number of medications such as diuretics, antihistamines, and antidepressants.
You can try and combat this by switching medications (always check with your doctor first), using synthetic saliva, and making sure that you are well hydrated.
There are a number of serious conditions that can be linked to poor oral health and periodontal disease including:
Respiratory illness – bacteria can enter the lungs and cause or exacerbate respiratory conditions such as pneumonia.
Pregnancy complications – severe gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and babies with low birthweight.
Endocarditis – when bacteria enter the bloodstream from your mouth or other sources, the inner lining of the heart chambers or valves can become infected.
There is also data that links oral bacteria to an increased risk of stroke and heart disease.
OK, so that list above does sound terrifying. However, it is worth noting that though these risks are present, they are not common and the solution is very simple.
Establish An Oral Health Routine
As has already been discussed, you need to find a dentist that you are comfortable with. Each practice will recommend how often you should have a routine appointment but generally speaking, you should be seeing a dentist and a hygienist every six months to keep your mouth healthy and your smile perfect.
Avoid lifestyle choices that will be detrimental to your oral health. This includes smoking, excessive drinking, and lots of sugary or acidic foods.
Brush your teeth – at least twice per day with a good quality electric toothbrush and toothpaste containing fluoride. Don’t rinse your mouth out with water after brushing your teeth. This is a common misconception. You’ll be washing the fluoride from the toothpaste away. Simply spit out any toothpaste/foam left in your mouth at the end of brushing.
Floss once per day. You can use traditional dental floss or other good options include dental picks or water flossers, which use a jet of air to clean out debris from between the teeth. Most people brush but many don’t floss, meaning they’re missing out a vital step in their routine.
Mouthwash – a good quality mouthwash can also help to wash away particles from within the mouth, as well as making your breath smell nice. Don’t use it as a substitute for flossing though and don’t use it immediately after brushing your teeth. Wait at least 20 minutes so that you are not washing away the fluoride from the toothpaste.
There you have it. A routine to help keep your mouth and your body healthy. Making it a part of your daily routine is simple and cheap and can protect you from a whole range of health problems later on.