All the different parts of our body work in unison—if one aspect of our health is neglected, it’s more than likely that this will have a negative effect on other parts of our organism. This is especially true of oral health; a good dental hygiene routine will ward off plaque, prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease whilst also promoting general wellbeing. An unhealthy mouth may lead to more serious health conditions like heart attack, stroke, diabetes and preterm labour. So, what can we do to safeguard our oral health?
Brush and floss
You should brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least two to three times a day, preferably an hour after eating. Also remember to floss and clean in between your teeth at least once a day. One of the most common misconceptions surrounding oral health is that mouthwash needs to be used right after brushing. This is, in fact, false, as it would remove all the protective fluoride—which strengthens tooth enamel—from your teeth.
Visit your dentist
It’s no secret that we as a nation aren’t particularly fond of sitting in the dentist’s chair. According to Mintel, around 31 percent of 25-34 year-olds only visit their dentist when they have a problem with their teeth. These visits should take place as regularly as every six months to two years—depending on what your dentist recommends. In addition to spotting potential oral health issues early, these visits will also provide an opportunity for hygienists to give tips and advice on the best cleaning techniques.
Diet has a direct impact on the state of our oral health. Sugar, fizzy drinks, red wine and tea are all enemies of a bright smile. Chew sugar-free gum after your meals to protect your gums and teeth, wait an hour after eating before brushing and consume a diet that is varied in nutrients. Quitting smoking is probably one of the best things you can do for your teeth—and overall health. It will reduce the chances of tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss and mouth cancer.