Keeping your mouth healthy protects your smile. It is key to your overall well-being; research has consistently shown the link between good oral health and decreased likelihood of developing various diseases and conditions, including heart problems, stroke, etc., and even dementia.
Use the five simple steps below to uplevel your oral hygiene routine, starting today, and enjoy all the benefits that come with having a healthy mouth.
Optimize Your Brushing
Begin with the basics: having a great brushing routine will remove food debris and plaque from the teeth, which, if allowed to build up, can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and a range of other problems. You can use a manual or an electric toothbrush, but be sure to clean your teeth twice a day and for approximately two minutes each time. Dentists now recommend that you spit out the toothpaste but not rinse for even better protection once you’ve finished brushing.
Replace your manual toothbrush every couple of months or earlier if the bristles show signs of wear. Similarly, the heads of electric toothbrushes should also be regularly replaced to ensure brushing is effective.
To level up your oral hygiene routine, consider incorporating floss, or interdental brushes, to clean the hard-to-reach spaces between the teeth and just below the gumline. Your dentist can give you plenty of advice on techniques and help you get started. Using floss, especially, can be a little tricky at first, but most people master the technique quickly. Is mouthwash necessary to remove even more plaque, promote good gum health, and eradicate bad breath.
If you suffer from crowding or misalignment of the teeth, this could put you at an increased risk of developing problems due to the difficulty of effectively brushing all of your teeth. Misalignment can also potentially cause problems with chewing and uneven wear to the surfaces of the teeth.
Now is a great time to consider braces due to the innovative techniques and home-based treatments that are now available. Read Strayt review here for more information on one such option: this provider offers at-home or in-office scanning and flexible payment and treatment plans for maximum convenience and accessibility.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular trips to the dentist’s chair are one of the best things you can do to keep your mouth healthy. At each check-up, your dentist will be assessing the health of your teeth and gums and your entire mouth. He will look for the first signs of issues such as mouth cancer. If caught early, mouth cancer is highly treatable, which alone makes keeping your appointments vital.
Your dentist can also spot other problems early to take preventative measures and will usually also deep clean your teeth if required. Ironically, therefore, the best way to limit the frequency and duration of your trips to the dental office is to…go to the dental office regularly.
If you’re a nervous patient or anxious about a visit to the dentist, talk to the dental team about how you’re feeling: staff have plenty of experience caring for worried patients and will do everything they can to put you at ease and ensure you’re comfortable.
Think About Diet
What we consume throughout the day plays a key role in the health of our mouths and entire bodies. Cutting down on sugar consumption is one of the best things we can do, diet-wise, to protect our teeth and decrease the likelihood of developing cavities – and, subsequently, needing to have a filling.
Little switches can make a big difference on this score: swapping a bowl of sugary breakfast cereal for plain porridge will cut about twenty-two cubes of sugar from your diet over a week. You could also replace sugary snacks with healthier, teeth-friendly options, such as plain popcorn, cubes of cheese, chopped fruit and nuts, or oatcakes.
Cut Out Alcohol And Smoking
Both alcohol and smoking can harm the mouth – both are linked to an increased risk of developing mouth and other types of cancer.
Consider cutting down on the amount of alcohol you drink; there are free apps that can help support you in this, which you can use to monitor your drinking and to set goals, such as having three drink-free days a week or decreasing your unit consumption by ten over a week. Your healthcare team can also be a vital form of support if you’re thinking about quitting or cutting back.
If you’re a smoker, giving up the habit is the best thing you can do for your overall health. In terms of the mouth and increasing the risk of cancer, smoking can cause a wide range of other problems, including staining of the teeth, gum disease, and bad breath. Again, your doctor can provide you with the support and advice you need if this would be helpful.
Use the tips above to start a great oral hygiene routine that will have you smiling on both the inside and outside for a mouth that is healthy!
Featured Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash