7 Tips To Boost Your Oral Health And Improve Oral Hygiene
Last updated on : October 01 2021
- 1. Brush Your Teeth Regularly, Not Aggressively
- 2. Flossing At Least Once A Day
- 3. Eating A healthy And Balanced Diet
- 4. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
- 5. Consider Mouthwash
- 6. Drink More Water
- 7. Quit Smoking Tobacco
The Connection Between Oral Health And Overall Health
If someone asked you what your oral hygiene strategy looks like, most of us would respond, 'brushing our teeth regularly,' and that's it.
However, oral health is not only about brushing our teeth, even though it is one of the most vital factors. Many other considerations are needed to ensure you achieve top-notch oral hygiene and improve your dental and overall health.
Understanding the connection between oral health and overall body health is one of these considerations.
According to a study, there is an association between our oral health and overall body health. Whatever goes on in our mouth may negatively impact our body too.
Our mouth teems with bacteria (just like any other part of your body, for that matter) which are mostly harmless. However, our mouth is the entry point to our digestive and respiratory tracts, so it can be easy for these bacteria to cause diseases - if we don't practice proper oral hygiene.
You can keep mouth bacteria under control whenever you adhere to proper oral hygiene, assisted by the body's natural defense mechanisms.
On the flip side, the lack of proper dental care opens up the gateway for the growth of bacteria that can lead to infections, such as gum disease and tooth decay.
What Conditions Can Be Linked To Oral Health?
Tooth decay and gum diseases may not be the only things to worry about with poor dental hygiene. Here are some other conditions that the lack of proper oral health may contribute to:
- Endocarditis is the name given to an infection that occurs on the inner linings of the heart chambers. In most cases, the condition occurs when bacteria from other parts of your mouth spread through the bloodstream to the heart.
- Pneumonia is a lung disease. It is easy for bacteria to be pulled from your mouth to your lungs. Whenever this happens, harmful bacteria may lead to respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia.
- Pregnancy and birth complications - did you know that periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight?
On the other hand, there are certain conditions that also directly impact your oral health. For instance, Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Osteoporosis, and even Alzheimer's disease are all linked with reducing the body's resistance to infection. As a result, conditions like these make patients more susceptible to oral diseases.
So what can you do to boost your oral health? Try the seven tips below.
Seven Tips To Boost Your Oral Health
Here are seven proven tips that you can easily follow to boost your oral hygiene:
1. Brush Your Teeth Regularly, Not Aggressively
Most of us know that the best way to maintain oral health is by brushing our teeth regularly. It's best to brush our teeth at least twice a day, mainly before bed in the evening and again in the morning.
However, brushing is effective only if you learn how to do it correctly.
For starters, you ought to avoid hard-bristled toothbrushes as they can damage your gums and teeth enamel. The more you use these products, the more damage you're likely to cause, like tooth sensitivity and permanent damage to the protective enamel on the teeth.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that people use soft-bristled toothbrushes and strive to change them every three months or whenever they start appearing fray (or whichever comes first).
Are you familiar with the recommended method of brushing teeth?
If not, ensure that you take care to brush the front, back, and top of every tooth. And, do not forget your cheeks and tongue. Also, it would help if you avoided sawing back and forth motions.
2. Flossing At Least Once A Day
Flossing is mostly the forgotten member of the dental hygiene family.
While some people forget to do so, it's still sad to note that many people aren't aware of the importance of this simple practice.
Flossing helps to get rid of plaque and bacteria between teeth in places where a toothbrush cannot reach. Furthermore, this practice is essential in preventing bad breath by removing food particles and debris that may become trapped in between teeth.
So, what's the ideal way to floss?
It's easy; most health professionals recommend that you gently push the floss all the way down to the gum line before hugging the sides of each tooth with an up-and-down motion.
Forgetting your flossing routine can make it easy for plaque to build up in the hard-to-reach areas during brushing. If left unattended for long, the plaque can harden to become tartar or calculus, which may require professional dental cleaning.
Although flossing may need a bit more effort, you are only required to do it once a day.
3. Eating A healthy And Balanced Diet.
Eating an apple a day keeps the dentist away ‒ or at least until it's time for your routine checkup.
It's prudent to check on your diet to take control of your oral health. You ought to avoid regular intake of certain types of foods that may negatively impact your oral health.
For instance, foods with large amounts of soda, grease, and sugar can easily damage your teeth and general oral health. These foods produce the most acid in the mouth, which fast-track the decay process.
Furthermore, it is also essential to brush your teeth after snacking, as sugar also ultimately converts into acid in the mouth. These acids erode the enamel of your teeth, leading to cavities.
It is not just the sugary foods you should be careful to avoid. Certain drinks, such as soda, tea, coffee, and wine, should also be on your 'avoid' list. Not only can they cause the tearing down of the enamel, but they also contribute to the staining of teeth.
Depending on your current dental situation, you may have to stick to a specific diet. For instance, you might be wondering what to eat after wisdom teeth removal. In this case, your food must be a lot softer. If you have braces on, you should avoid sticky foods.
Dental patients all have various dietary needs. However, it is a rule of thumb to maintain a healthy balanced diet.
4. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Experts recommend that you visit your dentist at least twice a year (every six months) for a checkup.
During this routine dental examination, the dentist will check your teeth for any issues that may have come up or may soon arise. They will check for any signs of gum disease, cavities, and other oral health concerns.
Furthermore, a hygienist will clean your teeth while getting rid of any plaque and hardened tartar. At times, they may have to use a dental X-ray to check for any current or imminent issues in your mouth.
You'll need to speak to your dentist about how often you'll need a checkup. While twice a year is the standard recommended frequency to see a dentist, sometimes the correct answer is, 'it depends.'
In most cases, the ideal frequency depends on a person's age, dental, and overall health history.
5. Consider Mouthwash
Some studies and advertisements indicate mouthwashes to benefit oral health, but most people skip these products as they don't know how exactly they work.
Research has shown that mouthwash containing chlorhexidine, an antibacterial agent, helps control plaque and gingivitis.
Including mouthwash into your oral hygiene routine is also essential because it helps reduce acid in the mouth. It is also helpful in cleaning the hard-to-brush parts of the mouth. Besides that, mouthwash is also crucial as it remineralizes teeth.
Nevertheless, you may have to consult with your dentist for recommendations on the specific mouthwash that would be ideal for you.
6. Drink More Water
Water remains the best beverage to help boost your overall health ‒ including oral health.
Health experts recommend that you drink some water after every meal to aid in washing out any sticky food remnants that remain on your teeth or mouth.
Drinking water this way helps in reducing cases of tooth decay and other oral health concerns.
7. Quit Smoking Tobacco
This list would not be complete if we failed to mention the adverse effects smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products have on oral hygiene.
The list is long, but the most common impacts include teeth discoloration, bad breath, gum disease, and exposure to oral and larynx cancers.
It is crucial to keep watch over your health, and this starts with you holding your lifestyle in check. Choose to live a healthy life by quitting the use of tobacco.
Taking good care of your oral health isn't rocket science. It is something that everyone can easily accomplish with readily available products, guidance, and motivation.
As you can see, your oral hygiene isn't only about brushing or flossing your teeth but involves other important factors, such as watching your diet.
Lidia Hovhan is a Medical Content Writer in the field of medicine and research. She is currently studying and working as a medical assistant. Her work is usually for Medical and Dental Magazines. She is also a blogger and writes exclusively about healthcare.
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