Most people know that routine check-ups at the dentist are important. But did you know that taking good care of your teeth and gums is an important part of maintaining your overall health too?
Poor oral health is associated with major chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. It may also cause complications with diabetes and contribute to low self-esteem. Here are 7 tricks that can help keep your mouth healthy.
Brush at Least Twice a Day
Ideally, you’ll brush after breakfast, lunch and dinner for 2-minutes each time. Brushing helps prevent cavities, tartar buildup and helps remove plaque.
2. Floss the Teeth You Want to Keep
Brushing only removes half the nasty stuff on your teeth. Floss is the only thing that can attack the other half. No matter how often you brush or how fancy your toothbrush is, you need to floss once a day to keep your teeth healthy.
3. Leave the Sugar in the Jar
Starchy and sugary foods stick to your teeth, promoting harmful oral bacteria. Choose snacks that are fibrous such as apples, pears, and celery. Also, foods that coat the teeth such as aged cheeses or dark chocolate help prevent oral disease and offer a little indulgence too.
4. Be Careful What You Drink
Black coffee and tea are best. Milk and sugar are easily digestible by oral bacteria, which raises the acidity level in your mouth and boosts your likelihood of getting cavities. Also, avoid acidic beverages such as pop, juice, energy and sports drinks. Heavy alcohol use is linked to mouth, throat and tongue cancer, especially when combined with smoking.
5. Quit Smoking
Not only does smoking increase your risk of oral and other types of cancer, but it also raises your risk of gum disease, oral fungus infections, and cavities. If that’s not bad enough, it also stains your teeth and causes bad breath.
6. Stimulate Saliva Production
Saliva naturally cleanses the mouth, but many prescription medicines cause a condition known as xerostomia (dry mouth). That means a higher risk of developing cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sour sugarless candies helps stimulate saliva production.