Do you remember your first dentist’s visit, with all the whining and crying? Why do parents even undergo all that effort of compelling their children to visit a dentist? Simply because your teeth can be an indicator of your overall health?
But if we cared for our teeth as we do for all other body parts, wouldn’t most people might just floss for a better smile? We need to understand the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and also looking after our overall health.
Oral Health Versus Overall Health
In order to maintain healthy teeth, you need to understand the repercussions or consequences of not keeping your teeth healthy. For example, one may be suffering from gum disease.
Now, gum disease may be considered a bacterial infection leading to tooth decay and loss, but what if the same disease can cause heart disease, stroke, and diabetes? Therefore, it’s essential to ensure oral health.
As per health experts, higher levels of gum disease may constitute higher levels of heart disease, a higher rate of lower birthweight babies, and premature birth.
HolisticDentistryUSA lays out essential guidelines concerning teeth care that can prevent cavities, gum disease, oral cancer, and overall poor oral hygiene. It’s not only crucial to know the importance of healthy teeth, but it’s also critical to be aware of how oral health is integral to overall health.
Symptoms Of Dental Or Oral Problems
Like all other health aspects, you need to be fully aware of your specific conditions, and the same goes for teeth. You need to know the symptoms of dental or oral health problems to maintain healthy teeth.
If you’re aware of the symptoms, you can swiftly act upon them in case of an emergency. Here are some of the signs of dental or oral problems which should not be ignored:
- Tender areas in the mouth that would take at least a week to heal
- Swollen gums after brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- Rapid sensitivity to hot and cold food intake
- Experiencing pain while chewing or biting
- Broken or crooked teeth
- Jaw clicking
- Swollen mouth
If you feel any such symptoms, you should not ignore them and immediately consult a doctor because minor oral health problems may be a defining factor for your overall health.
If your teeth are facing a bacterial infection, the same infection can spread from your oral cavity to your bloodstream and perhaps to your heart valves, which may be life-threatening. Keep a lookout for such symptoms.
Oral Hygiene Practices
Here are some of the ways to practice oral hygiene and maintain healthy teeth:
Remember, whatever happens to your teeth, you are responsible because what you eat reflects upon your oral health. No external bacterial infections can penetrate your teeth without consumption or perhaps exposure. Foods and beverages, including green juices, tea, wine, coffee, lead to discoloration and you don’t want to end up with another teeth whitening session.
You must consume foods that contribute to teeth whitening, such as strawberries, cauliflower, cheese, yogurt, seeds, and even nuts. The state of your teeth will reflect whatever you eat, so to ensure healthy teeth, you need to watch what you eat.
Practice Oral Hygiene
While consulting a dentist is essential, it is equally important to practice oral hygiene, including:
- Brush your teeth twice a day, preferably with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Use an electric toothbrush, which may be more productive than a conventional one.
- Floss once a day or more to remove food buildup between teeth, plaque, and reduce the risk of gingivitis, gum disease, and tooth decay.
- Visit the dentist semi-annually or on a more frequent basis.
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
Go For A Professional Cleaning
Apart from practicing oral hygiene, it`s always a good idea to go for a professional cleaning, especially if you're not good at maintaining healthy food intake. And don`t underestimate a professional cleaning; consider it as a routine checkup to check the ins and outs of your teeth.
You simply can`t assess the health of your teeth by looking in the mirror or perhaps flossing every day. During a professional cleaning, the dentists remove plaque buildup from your teeth and their roots.
It further entails polishing your teeth and treating them with fluoride, which is an essential element for your teeth care. The professional cleaning also helps in managing your periodontal pockets that require deep cleaning and enable healing.
The deep cleaning method helps to scrape off tartar and removes any rough spots on your teeth roots, which may accumulate bacteria from time to time.
Use Antibiotics (Dentist Prescription)
If your dentist prescribes you antibiotics to help with individual teeth ailments, you can use them but only on the dentist’s prescription. Usually, dentists prescribe antibiotics for gum infections.
These gum infections tend to be persistent and may not be treatable with prior professional cleaning. Medicines can be in the form of mouthwash, gel, an oral tablet or capsule for that matter.
Drink More Water
Drinking water may not directly impact your teeth’ health, but it can be useful if you drink water after every meal. This simply washes out some of the adverse effects of acidic and sticky foods you consume, thereby safeguarding your teeth health.
Eat Crunchy Fruits And Vegetables
Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables is not only crucial for your overall health; in fact, they contain healthy fiber and antioxidant vitamins which help your gums and protect other tissues from bacterial infections. If you are one of those concerned about their smile, crunchy fruits and vegetables are your gateway to a healthy smile.
Limit Sugars And Acidic Foods
It has already been established that our teeth reflect whatever we eat. When we consume sugary foods, eventually sugars turn into acid in our mouth which leads to cavities. Such acidic foods, teas, and coffees can also wear down tooth enamel.
You don`t have to avoid them for the rest of your life, as a lot of us can`t avoid caffeine or sugar intake for long, but what we can do is be a bit more considerate and mindful of our overall situation.
You need to have an idea about what`s best and what`s harmful for your teeth, since you can`t consume anything without knowing its repercussions for your teeth.
Adopt Effective Teeth Cleaning Techniques
We are taught teeth cleaning as toddlers, but do we actually make an effort to learn effective teeth cleaning processes that can prevent cavities, gum issues, and bacterial infections? What are proper teeth cleaning guidelines, and have we ever checked our teeth cleaning technique?
How To Brush Your Teeth
Here are the five steps to show you how to brush teeth effectively:
- Aim the toothbrush at 45 degrees right towards the gumline.
- As an appropriate amount of toothpaste is necessary, you need to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- While brushing your teeth, use a circular technique, but with a gentle motion as you can`t just move the brush haphazardly.
- For chewing surfaces, you need to use a back and forth technique but slowly and lightly.
- Just spit out the toothpaste, and you don`t have to rinse fully as the fluoride left in your teeth can protect you from tooth decay.
- Filling, Crown Or Root Canal
If you're experiencing cavities, you can`t just use antibiotics to cure them. You will need a filling treatment to repair your hole. The dentist uses a drill to remove the damaged area of your teeth and fill it up with composite material.
Similarly, if a large portion of your teeth is affected, then you`ll be needing a crown. The dentist recommends a crown and takes your crown size depending on the affected area of your teeth.
If your tooth decay surpasses a specific limit or you reach out to a dentist later, then you will need a root canal to remove your nerves. During a root canal, the affected nerves are replaced by a biocompatible material.
Lifestyle Habits Affecting Oral Health
While most people tend to practice oral hygiene, there are certain habits or perhaps addictions which are hard to let go off, for instance:
Smoking And Healthy Teeth
Remember the disclaimer that smoking is injurious to health. Smoking is one of the most perverse habits for your oral health. It creates tartar and plaque in between your teeth. The chemicals in tobacco affect your saliva flow and enable oral bacteria to stick to the teeth and gums.
It does not end here; smoking affects your teeth and gums in multiple ways. It interferes with your blood circulation and hampers gum tissue, which may cause a variety of infections.
Alcohol And Healthy Teeth
Like smoking, alcohol is another grave concern for your teeth. Alcohol can affect the outer surface of your teeth, leading to enamel loss. Not only is it damaging for your teeth, alcohol is worse if you have a tendency to drink too much because it may lead to mouth cancer.
The most important contributing factors of mouth cancer are alcohol consumption and smoking.
It is preferable for you to have some preliminary knowledge of teeth staining and teeth whitening procedures before adopting a lifestyle that may affect your oral health.
You can`t ignore your oral health at any point, but it is also essential to form a broader perspective of maintaining healthy teeth. You know that a healthy mouth leads to a healthy body. An oral bacterium may not sound very damaging, but when it causes heart diseases, premature births, or any sort of inflammation, it can become life-threatening.