8 Need to know Dental are Tips Everyone Should Apply Daily
It’s time to take a bite out of your oral health and start giving it the attention it deserves. After all, your oral health has a major influence over your general health
, systemic disease processes, appearance, and confidence. Plus, the presence of certain dental health issues could be a sign that you need to be checked for underlying diseases. So, shouldn’t you know the dental care tips to great oral health?
Your Dental Health Matters
When it comes to first and lasting impressions, your smile is one of the first nonverbal facets that onlookers notice about you. These onlookers, whether they be professional, romantic, or personal in nature, gather and assume a great deal about you simply by your smile… or lack thereof. It’s often the difference between you seeming approachable, confident, and friendly verses standoffish.
Your dental health goes far beyond appearances, though. Did you know that your oral health and your overall health are very closely intertwined?
Your mouth is its very own ecosystem that up to 700 different strains of good and bad bacteria call home. On average, the human mouth can have bacteria numbering in the six billions at any given time.
It’s important to note that certain medications, such as diuretics, narcotics, and antihistamines, may decrease the amount of saliva you produce, which can lead to oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva plays an important role in washing away stray food particles and neutralizing bacterial acids.
The above said, stellar and consistent oral hygiene remains number one at keeping bacteria tamed and neutralized. Before we learn some dental care tips to excellent oral hygiene, let’s take a closer look at why they’re so important.
Without proper attention to your oral care, bacteria is left to breed and multiply, which can cause infections of the mouth, teeth, and gums. Keep in mind that your mouth is the start of your digestive tract and a gateway to your respiratory tract, meaning infectious oral bacteria can travel far and wide to cause infection beyond just your mouth.
How Does Oral Health Impact Overall Health?
An array of studies have drawn a strong connection between oral and general health and disease. Advanced gum disease and tooth decay are two possible contributing factors in a number of very common and serious systemic diseases, including:
This is inflammation of the inner lining of your heart’s chambers and valves, and it can be very serious. Its most often caused by bacteria or fungi overgrowth traveling from one point in your body, such as your mouth, to the heart’s endocardium via your bloodstream.
2. Cardiovascular Disease / Stroke
Oral bacteria overgrowth and the resulting inflammation and infection risk is also associated with heart disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension, and stroke.
3. Pneumonia / Bronchitis
Bacterial overgrowth from poor oral care, dry mouth, abscesses, tooth decay, gum disease, and other periodontal diseases can easily get pulled into your lungs to cause a number of respiratory issues, including pneumonia and bronchitis.
4. Childbearing Issues
Due to hormonal changes, pregnant women are particularly prone to oral health issues. This can lead to a number of pregnancy complications. Periodontitis and gingivitis, for example, can result in low birth weights and premature deliveries. Gum disease can be a causative agent in female infertility issues and in erectile dysfunction in men, and lactating women with poor oral health put both their own and infant’s health at risk.
5. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Inflammation from gingivitis can have a systemic impact on those suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic inflammatory oral diseases and conditions make the risk of developing RA much higher.
How Does Overall Health Impact Oral Health?
Just as oral health impacts your overall health and risk for systemic disease processes, the presence of certain diseases and conditions can also impact your oral health. Certain conditions make it more imperative than ever to practice stellar oral care, including:
Diabetics often have a weakened immune response and lower resistance to infection, which explains why diabetics are more prone to periodontitis. It’s also usually more severe in diabetics. In turn, diabetics with gum disease have a more difficult time managing their blood sugar levels. Gum disease also makes you more prone to developing diabetes.
2. HIV / AIDS
Those with HIV/AIDS also have a weakened immune response and are much more vulnerable to infectious diseases, including oral infections. Mucosal lesions are a common side effect of HIV/AIDS that significantly increases the probability of oral health issues, infection, and disease.
The presence of osteoporosis leaves you at greater risk for bone loss and weakening of the periodontal bone, which can result in tooth loss. Certain medications used to treat osteoporosis also have oral bone health side effects.
4. Alzheimer’s Disease / Dementia
Due to memory deterioration, loss, and disorientation, many with dementia-related diseases begin to experience oral health issues, especially as the disease progresses. Even those who’ve practiced stellar oral care their entire life may experience gum disease, tooth decay, infections, and so forth because they simply can’t remember the importance of regular flossing, rinsing, and brushing practices. On the other hand, poor oral hygiene causing frequent inflammatory responses and infection can also worsen dementia due to the possibility of bacteria spreading to and damaging nerve channels.
How Can I Keep My Oral Health In Check?
It’s easy to see how intertwined oral health is at causing and contributing to secondary systemic disease and how susceptible your oral health is to primary systemic disease. Here are eight dental care tips to help you prioritize your oral health:
Eat a well-balanced diet full of healthy fruits and vegetables to get your body the nutrients needed to thrive. Limit foods with added sugars that harm the enamel of your teeth and create a feeding ground for bacteria.
Choose water as your primary drink. All of the human body’s systems rely upon water to function properly. The mouth is no different. Staying hydrated is essential to saliva production. Without enough saliva, food is left to decay teeth, halitosis sets in, and bacteria is left to multiply and spread.
3. Floss Daily
At a minimum, you should floss daily as part of your routine oral care. This process helps removes germs and food particles lodged between teeth. Make sure you use a fresh piece of floss (around 20 inches long) each time and don’t skip teeth just because they’re out of sight. If you’re unsure how often or how to floss, consult your dentist or orthodontist for instructions.
Rinsing regularly helps removes stray food particles, germs, and debris stirred up and/or missed with brushing, flossing, and saliva. Ideally, you should rinse with mouthwash following your brushing and flossing routine and water after each meal or snack. Again, your dentist or orthodontist can provide an ideal product line and schedule for your oral health needs.
5. Ask Your Healthcare Provider For Product Recommendations
We all know that keeping routine checkups
and cleanings is crucial to oral health. This is the perfect time to get professional product recommendations, too.
Using the right dental care products is key to your oral health, and your dentist and orthodontist can often offer you very specific solutions for your dental concerns. As a general rule, pick products that are convenient, effective, and easy to use. Brushes should be soft enough that they don’t irritate the gums. Products, such as alcohol-based mouthwash, should also be avoided if you notice a gum or tooth sensitivity. It may be prudent to invest in helpful products for specific dental needs, such as a water flosser if you’re wearing braces or tongue scraper if you suffer from halitosis.
6. Replace Your Toothbrush At Least Three Times Per Year
Your brush should be replaced at least every four months. If the bristles are worn before then, then it’s time to replace. Splaying bristles can be a sign of extensive wear and tear, but, if they’re splaying too often, it likely means you’re brushing too hard. Your dentist may recommend a softer toothbrush and a more gentle brushing technique.
7. Watch Snacking
Munching between meals and late at night is a common habit, but it’s also the common culprit behind tooth decay and bacteria overgrowth. If you can’t brush, floss, and rinse to remove the snack remnants, then it’s best to just avoid snacking.
8. Avoid Tobacco
Tobacco is an oral health killer. It encourages inflammation, restricts blood flow necessary to heal any oral problems, stains teeth, lessens the body’s ability to absorb key nutrients, and leads to nicotine and tar buildup on the teeth, none of which promote healthy gums and teeth.