Exercising, eating the right foods, getting enough sleep. People do so much to try to maintain good physical health. What many fail to realise though is that your physical health can be directly impacted by your oral health.
The way we speak, eat, breath and sleep are all affected by our oral health. But so are serious health problems. In fact, poor oral health has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
As you can see, having a good oral hygiene regime can have significant implications on the quality of your life. And any good oral hygiene regime starts with brushing.
How to Correctly Brush Your Teeth
- Brush two to three times per day, this is the cornerstone of any good oral hygiene regime.
- You must brush correctly. Incorrect brushing can lead to bad breath, plaque build-up, and gum disease. To brush correctly use short strokes and be sure to brush all areas of your teeth. Front, back, and the chewing surfaces.
- Always use fluoride toothpaste.
When brushing elect for a toothbrush with soft bristles and a design that allows you to easily reach all of your mouths surfaces. Your toothbrush should be changed at a maximum interval of every twelve weeks. However, replace your toothbrush immediately if the bristles become worn and frayed.
Don't Ignore the Importance of Flossing
Most people brush regularly; however, flossing is just as important. Unfortunately, this is where most people fail in their oral hygiene regime.
Your toothbrush doesn't have the ability to clean every area of your teeth. That's why flossing is so important. It helps remove plaque and any trapped food particles that might be hiding between your teeth.
Everyone should floss daily, failure to do so will lead to plaque build up. Eventually, that plaque will harden into tartar.
How to Floss Correctly
- Wrap the ends of an 18 to 24-inch section of floss around your middle fingers.
- Hold the floss between the thumb and forefinger of each hand.
- With a tight grip on the floss gently slide it between your teeth careful not to pull sharply to your gum. Allow the floss to work its way down to the gum line as you gently glide back and forth.
- Repeat the process for each tooth, not forgetting to floss the outer edge of your back teeth.
Brushing and flossing are step 1 and 2 in maintaining a healthy mouth. But without regular dental check-ups, you place your oral health at risk.
For most people a dental check-up every six months is sufficient. For other people with a high risk of gum disease a check-up every three or four months might be recommended.
During your routine check-up, your dental hygienist will clean your teeth removing plaque build up and look for any issues that might be arising. Early detection of cavities or other problems can help you avoid painful and possibly expensive procedures in the future.
A lot of people wait until an issue arises to schedule a dentist appointment. Don't make that mistake.
How Nutrition Impacts Your Oral Health
The saying goes that "you are what you eat." Well, besides just having an impact on your body, what you eat can also have a significant impact on your teeth and oral health also. In fact, the things you eat can directly trigger tooth decay and cavities.
How Your Diet Can Trigger Tooth Decay
Since childhood, most of us have been taught that sweets can cause cavities. However, the reality is a bit more complex than that.
When it comes to sweets, most people fail to realis that carbohydrates like bread are just as damaging to your teeth as candy. The reason is that although bread isn't sweet, both sugar and grains are carbohydrates.
These carbohydrates (sugar) attack your tooth's enamel with acid, which leads to cavities and tooth decay.
However, all sugars are not created equal. Sticky sweets like dried fruit and chewy candies are more dangerous than bread, and fruit juice because the former stick to your teeth and hang around your mouth longer. This allows the acids to do more damage.
If you eat dried fruit or sticky candies, be sure to rinse your mouth or brush and floss soon after consumption.
How Foods Attack Your Teeth
We know that sugars and carbohydrates can cause damage to your teeth. The reason being is because the carbohydrates (sugars) combine with the bacteria in your mouth creating an environment that leads to enamel breakdown.
The longer the sugars are on your teeth, the more acid it forms and the less your saliva can neutralise it.
As your enamel weakens from acid damage a few things happen:
- Your teeth become more prone to decay.
- Your teeth become more susceptible to cavities.
- Your teeth become more susceptible to stains.
Oral Health During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a very busy time for most women. You have doctor’s visits, setting up a nursery, and a host of other things on your to-do list. However, regular dental check-ups shouldn't fall to the wayside.
It's 100% safe to have dental cleanings and procedures like cavity fillings during pregnancy.
Oral Health Issues During Pregnancy
Pregnancy causes a lot of hormonal changes, which often has an adverse effect on pregnant women's oral health. In fact, pregnancy has been shown in many cases to make dental issues worse and even create new ones. That's because the flood of hormones during pregnancy can throw off the otherwise stable balance in a pregnant woman's mouth.
That can lead to Pregnancy gingivitis, increased risk of tooth decay, and pregnancy mouth tumours.
Good oral hygiene for pregnant women is the same as good oral hygiene for everyone else. Brush twice per day, floss once a day, avoid too many sugars and carbohydrates, and maintain your regular dental check-ups. If you do all of the above, maintaining your oral health should be as simple as it is for nearly everyone else.