Let’s Talk About Oral Health

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Let’s get one thing straight. There is a whole lot more to good oral health than simply brushing twice a day. There are a whole host of dental problems that we can encounter, and they all pose various risks to our health. The good news, though, is that the vast majority of them can be largely prevented with the right techniques. Whether you’re worried about your oral health or not, it’s never a bad time to get into some good habits when it comes to your teeth.

Here are a few of the most effective ways to prevent decay, cavities, and other assorted oral problems we may experience in our lifetimes.

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Image Location: Pixabay

 

Let’s start right at the beginning…

Okay, I’m not going to insult your intelligence. We all know that the bread and butter of good oral health is maintaining a good brushing schedule. We all (or, at least, I hope) brush our teeth in the morning and in the evening. But some of us have slipped into some pretty bad habits as far as using our toothbrush is concerned. There are a couple of things you need to know about brushing the right way. For a more detailed guide, read webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-14/brushing-teeth-mistakes.

First of all, let’s explore the idea that too much brushing is actually a bad thing. Because guess what? It is! You may think that you’re doing your teeth good, but you’re not. Brushing for too long, or too hard, can actually damage the enamel that protects the lining of your teeth. That two-minute benchmark that has been set? Don’t deviate from it. Any less and you’re not cleaning them thoroughly enough. Any more than that, and you’ll probably end up just taking the lining off.

Two times a day for two minutes at a time is the recommendation, and you should stick to that as if your life depends on it. Oh, and while we’re at it, learn the proper technique for brushing. Spoiler alert: it’s up and down, people, not side to side!

On top of that, mouthwash can be a fantastic way to make up the difference. You can get all kinds of different mouthwash that have different properties in them. Whether they’re designed to make your smile whiter, or help form a protective layer over damaged enamel. If you’ve got a specific problem with your teeth, you can likely find a solution in a bottle of mouthwash! In addition to that, flossing between meals is a good alternative to overbrushing. So, stock up on that dental floss and let rip after each and every meal!

For a guide to mouthwash, visit medic8.com/cosmetic-dentistry/dental-hygiene/mouthwash/types.

Don’t beat around the bush…

Nobody likes paying their dentist a visit. Nobody. For some reason, we get an overwhelming sense of dread whenever our due date is approaching. Many of us even go as far as to postpone the visit indefinitely. What’s the worst that can happen? Let me tell you, all the bargaining in the world isn’t going to do you any good. I’m afraid we’ve just gotta suck it up and get in the chair.

You should aim to visit your dentist twice a year. At least, according to the American Dental Association. Don’t let your fears or finances get the best of you. Dentists are there for a reason. They can spot a whole host of problems that are starting to develop before you even know they’re an issue. It’s crucial that you spot them early so that you can be referred to treatment. You can find different providers of oral health care for an all manner of different problems. If you’ve been recommended for a crown, for example, visit carefreedental.com/procedures/crown.

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Let’s not sugarcoat things…

The single biggest detrimental to oral health in America is undoubtedly our vast consumption of sugar. As a country, we’re not doing too well at curbing our sweet tooth. And listen, not only does refined sugar play havoc with your dental health, but it can pose other health problems. A diet with a large intake of sugar can also lead to diabetes, heart disease, and blood clots. No thanks.

Let’s start by cutting out the soda. Those fizzy drinks are causing a hell of a lot of problems for your teeth to contend with. And it’s not just the vast amounts of sugar you need to worry about. On top of that, there is a whole host of acids that rot your teeth. It’s best just to steer clear and look at alternatives such as sugar-free flavored water. Cut down on your sugar intake with clever tips from health.com/health/gallery/0,,20809521,00.

If you happen to be a smoker, the problems can escalate for you. Let’s ignore all of the other known factors that are detrimental to your health. As if lung cancer, blocked arteries, and poor general health weren’t bad enough, your teeth suffer from smoke inhalation, too. The nicotine and tar that is prevalent in cigarettes can turn those pearly whites into unsightly shades of yellow. The smoke encourages the growth of bacteria, which then eats away at your teeth and gums. Nasty.

Not to mention bad breath. Ew, gross. See a guide to medical conditions that lead to bad breath.

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Image Location: Pixabay

 

Is it too late?

No. It’s never too late to start embracing some good habits to improve your overall oral health. However, if you suspect that you’re suffering from a dental problem, it’s crucial that you consult your dentist. Don’t wait around for the date you’ve circled in your calendar. Book an appointment as a matter of urgency. Untreated dental problems can lead to widespread health issues. Remember, our entire body is connected. You can injure your knee and feel the effects in your back. The same is true of your teeth. For a list of potential problems, consult mouthhealthy.org/en/adults-40-60/concerns.

A quick word on plaque which is a huge problem for many of us. In fact, we put it to the back of our minds and figure it can’t be doing that much damage. Well, can it? Actually, yes, it can. Plaque can lead to an inflammation of the gums which, in turn, can develop into decay. Gum disease is a massive problem for all of us. If you find that your gums are inflamed, consult your dentist as soon as possible.

And finally, let’s talk about your toothbrush. It should have soft bristled and be replaced every two to three months. With all of the above, you’ll be well on your way to good oral health.

 

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