Maintaining your oral health is essential for overall wellness. A study by the American Academy of Periodontology showed that those with poor oral health are at an increased risk for developing other chronic conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
So, good oral hygiene habits are not only important for your mouth but your overall health as well. If you’re not sure how to maintain your oral health or what steps to take, here are some tips you might find helpful.
Brushing your teeth
It might seem obvious, but brushing your teeth is one of the most important things you can do for oral health. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), aim to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.
Proper brushing technique is essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. When brushing your teeth, be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride helps to protect your teeth from cavities and decay.
Start by placing your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle of your gum line and use gentle circular motions. Be sure to brush on the inside surfaces of your teeth and use light back and forth strokes on the chewing surfaces of your molars. Don’t forget your tongue, too. Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath. Lastly, spit out the toothpaste after brushing. You can help keep your teeth and gums healthy is as simple as these steps.
Flossing your teeth
While brushing is essential, it’s not enough on its own. Plaque and bacteria can often build up in areas between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. That’s where flossing comes in. Flossing helps get rid of debris stuck in between your teeth, keeping your smile healthy and sparkling.
Not everyone is aware of the importance of flossing. In another survey by the ADA, only 4 out of 10 Americans floss daily. About 20% have never flossed, and the rest only floss when they think about it or have time.
Although flossing might seem like a hassle, it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. So, if you’re still not flossing, it might be time to make it a part of your routine.
Replacing missing teeth
Many teens and adults have reported having tooth loss due to cavities or gum disease. But leaving these empty spaces in your mouth can cause other problems like shifting teeth, bite changes, and even jawbone deterioration. That’s why it’s essential to replace missing teeth.
Dentures and dental implants are two common ways to replace missing teeth. Dentures are removable dental appliances that can replace one tooth or multiple teeth. They come from artificial teeth set in a plastic or metal base. The base then gets fitted over your gums.
On the other hand, dental implants are a more permanent solution for tooth loss. They are titanium posts that get surgically placed into your jawbone. Once the area has healed, artificial teeth are attached to the implants.
Whichever option you choose, you must talk with your dentist about the best way to replace your missing teeth. This way, you can maintain oral health and prevent further problems.
Eating a balanced diet
What you eat has a direct impact on your oral health. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is essential. Avoid sugary and acidic foods as well as processed snacks. These can contribute to tooth decay and other oral health problems.
In addition to eating a balanced diet, be sure to drink plenty of water. Water helps wash away plaque and bacteria from your teeth. It also helps keep your gums hydrated.
See your dentist regularly
Of course, even if you’re taking good care of your teeth at home, it’s still essential to see your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. They can spot problems early on and help keep your smile healthy.
Most dental insurance plans cover two visits to the dentist per year. However, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits if you have oral health problems. Nonetheless, visit your dentist at least once a year for a check-up.
The above tips are essential for keeping your oral health in check. Although you might not think about it often, oral health is vital for a healthy lifestyle. So, take care of your teeth and gums and do what’s necessary. This way, you can maintain a healthy smile for years to come. Who knows, maybe you’ll even inspire others to do the same!