The Ultimate Guide to Oral Health

Oral health is an essential element of your well-being. There are many ways you can go about caring for your dental hygiene.

Read through this guide to understand the importance of oral hygiene and how you can start making some changes.

Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

Dental health goes way beyond oral hygiene — it impacts your overall health. Ancients believed that dental health is the indicator of the overall gut health, which influences the whole body.

On a routine day, the mouth itself builds up certain bacteria to maintain oral health. Yes, you read that right. Some bacteria are vital for your health. They defend the teeth, aid in the digestive processes, and refresh the breath.

But when the bacteria builds up, it starts having a bad impact on health. Gradually, it triggers:

  • Cardiovascular Issues: Inflammation and infections caused by dental hygiene have been linked to heart diseases such as clogged arteries, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues.
  • Birth complications: Periodontitis may result in low birth weight or premature birth.
  • Endocarditis: The bacteria spread to other body parts, lodging at the inner linings of valves and heart chambers.
  • Respiratory inhibitions: The bacteria in the mouth, when it reaches the lungs, can result in various respiratory complications such as wheezing and pneumonia and can also trigger emphysema.

Some Best Practices for Good Oral Health

Here are some practices that can result in good oral health. Incorporate them into your routine and enjoy the benefits that tag along.

●       Brushing is your best friend

Apart from brushing twice a day, it is always advised to brush after every meal. This is because the food particles may settle in crevices and corners, where bacteria and plaque growth starts.

Also, be careful not to brush in back-and-forth strokes; these movements do not help clean the gums thoroughly. Instead, the best practice recommended by dentists is to brush in gentle circular motions.  

●       Mouthwash to your rescue

Sometimes, plaque and bacteria lodge between the teeth and cannot be entirely removed by brushing. Moreover, tea and coffee stains cannot be addressed by brushing teeth promptly. Hence a good rinse with mouthwash can freshen up your mouth and give you a soothing feeling.

●       Regular checking will help

Mouth health is a great indicator of your overall health. If you pay heed, you will notice that a slight change in oral hygiene can help in maintaining your mental and physical health. So, make it a routine to check the gums, tongue, teeth, and other essentials inside the mouth.

It would be great to schedule regular visits with the orthodontist to assess any tooth degradation or decay, especially if you are pregnant or suffer from health conditions like diabetes, respiratory issues, osteoporosis, or arthritis.

●       Use Food that complements your Oral Health

Some foods are blameless, while some are bad for oral health. The food that should be avoided at all costs include:

  • Sugary snacks (candy, ice cream, cakes, chocolates)
  • Oily foods
  • Soft drinks
  • Wine
  • Pickles
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Sports Beverages
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

If you cannot avoid these foods altogether, make sure to brush your teeth instantly after having them. This will stop teeth erosion, cavities, and bacteria growth.

The foods that are good for oral hygiene are:

  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt)
  • Water
  • Pear and apple
  • Celery, carrots, and other leafy green vegetables
  • Meat and Fish
  • Whole grains
  • Tea and coffee

Products for Best Oral Health

As a rule of thumb, choose products approved by American Dental Association (ADA). Do not use any product that promises shortcuts. Here are some products that ensure perfect oral health.

●       Toothpaste

If you browse a typical drug store, you will observe that the shelves are swarmed with different kinds of toothpaste, with countless ingredients promising better dental health.

However, it is best to research before buying because certain additives may strip the tooth enamel, which is essential for the teeth. Most doctors recommend toothpaste with fluoride that helps protect enamel, fight gingivitis, eliminate bad breath, and whiten teeth gradually.

●       Toothbrush

The toothbrush comes in three kinds — soft, medium, and hard. Most experts recommend using a soft bristle toothbrush because even the medium bristles can get abrasive to gums.

Electronic toothbrushes are getting popular for a reason. They assess the pressure and stroke that are required for gums. Also, they avoid applying too much pressure on the gums, unlike the manual toothbrush.

●       Floss

Often the toothbrush fails to reach all the nooks and corners. Hence you don’t want to go to bed with food that would manifest bacterial growth in your mouth.

So, it is best to develop a habit of flossing your teeth before you hit the bed. In case your teeth are squelched tightly- you can opt for the waxed floss that slides between the teeth and cleans out any unwanted particles.

Healthy Habits for Good Oral Health

Besides the methods and products, some lifestyle changes will impact your dental health. These include

●       Incorporating a healthy diet into your routine

A healthy diet is essential for everything. So it is best to incorporate lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your routine. Again, your healthcare professional is the right person to guide you on how to go about having a balanced diet for dental health.

●       Cut down harmful things

Follow these rules and wave goodbye to poor dental health:

  • Snacks can be a part of your lifestyle and food regimen, but with some changes. The ideal scenario would include replacing carb or sugary snacks with healthy ones like nuts and fruits.
  • Also, fruit like the citrus family should be avoided if you have long intervals in between brushing your teeth.
  • Avoid or reduce eating sugary foods, cookies, cake, bread, and dried fruits.   
  • Soda and soft drinks are bad, even if you pick the sugar-free ones. These drinks are high in acid content and so cause erosion and disruption in the enamel of the teeth.
  • Reduce the number of cigarettes per day. Nicotine gradually reduces gum health and is an originator of various gum issues.
  • Wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages are a big no too.
  • Tea and coffee should be taken in a limited quantity per day.

Take Away

As you may read through this guide, many factors seem belligerent and impossible to implement. But if you take one step at a time, you will be able to make some changes in your routine that will contribute to good oral health.

Want to add something to this article? If yes, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

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