Almost everyone understands the importance of oral health, however, it is surprising how few know the link between oral health and general health. Everything you eat passes through your mouth to reach other parts of your body. This means if you suffer from oral diseases or bad oral health, you would be putting your body at a risk of contracting other conditions and diseases. Here are a few tips to maintain your oral hygiene, which in turn, ensures that your overall health is also maintained:
Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
• 3-Step Routine
The 3-step routine includes:
– Cleaning the tongue
When you brush, position the toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle near the gum line and brush the outer surfaces of the teeth using back-and-forth, up-and-down motion. Brushing twice daily helps in preventing acid buildup from the breakdown of food by bacteria.
Flossing helps in removing plaque from hard-to-reach places. If ignored, plaque hardens and becomes tartar, which requires professional cleaning. This buildup can produce cavities, gum disease, tooth and bone loss.
The third step of proper dental care is to clean the tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove bacteria, which might cause bad breath.
Use dental products that contain fluoride. You can also use a mouth rinse for extra tooth-strengthening or protection against gum disease.
• Eat Healthy
In order to have healthy teeth, you must follow a healthy diet. Avoid snacking between meals, especially on snacks that are high in sugar or starch.
If you feel hungry before meals, pick up a fruit or vegetable instead of donuts or chips. Fruits and vegetables help in stimulating the natural saliva flow, reduce tooth decay and re-mineralize the surfaces of your teeth.
• Pay Attention to Orthodontic Issues
Straight teeth do add to the aesthetic appeal but they also help in maintaining overall oral health. Avoiding orthodontic problems like crooked or crowded teeth is a bad idea as they contribute to gum disease that can eventually lead to tooth loss. Get orthodontic treatment as soon as possible.
• Replace Your Toothbrush Periodically
When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? If you don’t remember, it is a bad sign. It is imperative that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months. If the bristles get frayed sooner than that, don’t wait till three months to replace it — do it sooner. Old toothbrushes lose their capacity to clean teeth properly and won’t improve teeth health.
• Visit Your Dentist
The one person that can ensure oral health at all times is your dentist. Regular dental checkups help the dentist screen tooth decay, oral cancer and various gum diseases. Apart from check-ups, you must go for regular cleaning as well.
The dental hygienist will clean any hardened dental plaque that can’t be removed by brushing or even flossing, and give your teeth an attractive polishing. Visit your dentist twice a year — don’t wait for an oral disease to crop up before you make an appointment.
• Ditch the Cigarette
Tobacco is your teeth’s worst enemy. Smokers are four times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers. Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco increases the risk of oral cancer exponentially. Even if you use smokeless tobacco brands that have sugar-based sweeteners, you will be susceptible to tooth decay. Avoid tobacco for healthier teeth — better yet, quit smoking altogether.
Encourage your family to practice good oral health on a daily basis. Orthodontist appointments might sound scary and unpleasant but don’t let that be a reason to avoid them. Taking care of your teeth and braces while going through Orthodontic treatment will not just ensure better oral health but it will also protect you from various health diseases and save your life!
Author Bio: Dr. Satish Pai – an Ivy League trained dentist and a faculty at Columbia University, believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great while boosting confidence.
As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics, he is dedicated to not only creating perfect smiles for his patients but also educating people with his engaging articles about all things related to a perfect smile and oral health. Spending time with his family always brings a smile on his face. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing.