Oral Health Tips

Researchers have discovered oral health is linked to a person’s overall health, and, in fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA) “periodontist (the advanced form of gum disease that can cause tooth loss) is associated with other health problems such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia.” Whether or not periodontist causes those diseases or vice versa is still being investigated. However, with a potential link existing between oral health and disease, it remains important for you to practice good oral hygiene. These ten tips can help you do that.

  1. Eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet helps to prevent tooth decay and discourages periodontal disease.
  2. Floss. Teeth need to be flossed daily because decay-causing bacteria hides between the teeth and toothbrush bristles cannot reach it. Floss helps remove hidden food particles and plaque.
  3. Limit snacking. To maintain healthy teeth, limit in-between snacking and try to avoid sugary and starchy snacks because they cause your mouth to produce acids and acids cause your teeth to decay.
  4. Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. The ADA recommends you replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. Check your toothbrush and if the bristles are frayed or worn replace it so it can effectively clean your teeth and discourage decay. Additionally, toothbrushes harbor microorganisms and they multiply over time. So, that’s another good reason to replace your toothbrush regularly.
  5. Rinse your toothbrush. After brushing your teeth thoroughly rinse your toothbrush out to remove toothpaste or other debris left behind.
  6. Store toothbrushes separately. Do not store your family’s toothbrushes together in the same holder, but if you must make sure they are kept separate from one another to prevent cross-contamination. Also, store them upright so they can air dry and do not enclose them in cases because such an environment is conducive to the growth of microorganisms.
  7. Use an antimicrobial mouth rinse. Antimicrobial mouth rinses reduce the bacterial content in your mouth and bacteria causes gingivitis, which leads to periodontal disease.
  8. Use fluoride toothpaste. The ADA recommends using fluoride toothpaste to help reduce decay and prevent tooth loss.
  9. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Soft-bristle toothbrushes are gentle on the gums and less likely to cause gum recession and tooth surface abrasion, both of which can lead to tooth sensitivity.
  10. Visit your dentist regularly. See your dentist regularly for cleaning and oral exams. Even if you have dentures it is still important to see your dentist because the dentist checks for oral diseases, including cancer, and according to the ADA “95 percent of all cancers are found in people over age 40. However, many of these cancers are treatable if detected early.”

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