Your oral health is a window to your overall health. Oral bacteria can cause or worsen chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. That’s why it’s more important than ever that you maintain good dental hygiene habits early.
However, good dental hygiene doesn’t simply mean brushing and flossing. In addition to those lifestyle changes, you can improve your oral health by performing the following practices:
Maintain A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is an important part of good oral health. Your teeth are highly susceptible to the effects of acid, which can eat away at tooth enamel, causing painful tooth decay and loss.
Acidic foods like soda, fruit juice, sports drinks (like Gatorade), candy (especially sour candy), and baked goods can all lead to tooth decay. Of course, everyone knows that sugary foods are bad for your teeth, but many people don’t know that acidic foods can also cause tooth problems.
Chew sugarless gum when you cannot brush your teeth. The gum stimulates saliva production, which neutralizes acids in the mouth.
Keeping your body fit and healthy can help you maintain good oral health. Regular exercise helps prevent obesity, which puts additional stress on teeth and gums.
People who are overweight often suffer from dry mouth, or xerostomia, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. To combat this problem, make sure you drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist throughout the day.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder that causes people to stop breathing during their sleep. It can lead to dry mouth, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. If you have OSA, schedule an appointment with your dentist to talk about your snoring, teeth grinding, and other symptoms.
Studies have found that people with OSA may benefit from wearing dental devices to help keep their airways open while sleeping. If you believe you have OSA, consult a doctor or respiratory therapist. Your dentist can fit you for a dental device after an evaluation by a doctor.
Control or Eliminate Vices
Smoking, drinking alcohol, and chewing tobacco can lead to oral health problems. These vices are particularly bad for your teeth because it dries out the mouth and causes gum disease.
If you do not smoke but frequently come into contact with secondhand smoke, take action to reduce your exposure. Contact your local government official to ask about laws that prohibit smoking in public or other enclosed spaces.
Smoking is a difficult habit to break, but you should quit if you cannot stop. Speak with your dentist about quitting smoking if you are a smoker.
Manage Stress Levels
Chronic stress can damage your emotional and mental health and lead to disease in various parts of the body. It also harms your oral health.
Stress causes you to produce excess cortisol and adrenaline, which damages gum tissue and leads to bad breath and cavities. Try relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or massage therapy to keep the pressure at bay.
Detect Early Signs of Oral Disorders
Regular dental checkups are important for the early diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases. If you fail to see your dentist regularly, your chance of developing an oral disorder increases exponentially.
In addition to your annual or biannual dental visit, schedule an appointment if you experience symptoms disrupting your daily life. For example, you should see a dentist if you are experiencing pain in any part of your mouth or face, notice bleeding or sores on the gums, or have swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
Your dentist can perform oral cancer screenings by looking for problems like precancerous lesions, red or white patches on the gums, or lumps on the side of the face.
Consider Specialist Treatment
There are cases when a regular dental practitioner is not equipped to provide you with the care you need. If you are experiencing chronic pain or oral cancer, your dentist can refer you to a specialist. There are many dental health specialists, the most common being orthodontic specialists. These people can give you treatment and advice on how to straighten your teeth and fix problems with your bite.
On the other hand, an oral surgeon can provide expert diagnosis and immediate care for oral disorders. This dentist is trained to perform surgeries, such as tooth extractions or gum treatments. They may also treat tumors that require surgical intervention.
Other specialists may be an endodontist, periodontist, or pediatric dentist, depending on your condition.
And that’s it! These simple tips can help maintain a healthy mouth and prevent oral diseases. Stay vigilant in taking care of yourself when it comes to your teeth because you can’t put a price on health when it comes to overall well-being!