Your oral health is an important part of your overall health, both physical and social. The impacts to your physical health are clear; gum disease can be painful, losing teeth can make eating difficult, infections can cause long-term health problems; heart disease is linked to poor oral health, as is diabetes. The problems that emerge with gum disease are social, as well; you may be less inclined to socialize if you have missing teeth or bad breath, and your speech patterns may change if inflammation is causing you pain. Fortunately, it’s simple to maintain good oral health by following these four tips:
Practice Proper Oral Hygiene
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and wait 30 minutes after eating before brushing; if you brush too soon after you eat, it can damage your tooth enamel. Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush; plaque isn’t hard, so harder bristles aren’t necessary. No matter how hard your bristles are, you won’t be able to remove plaque that’s been hardened into tartar. Fluoridated toothpaste is the best bet for fighting cavities. Eating a well-balanced diet, and avoiding artificially sweetened and overly acidic foods is essential to good oral health.
You should be aware of the signs of gum disease and oral cancer. For gum disease, watch out for red, shiny, puffy, sore and sensitive gums; it’s best to combat gum disease early. While sometimes bleeding can occur when brushing if too-tough bristles or bad technique are used if bleeding occurs when brushing gently with soft-bristles, you likely have gum disease. Persistent bad breath is another sign your gums are infected. Oral cancer is denoted by bleeding and open sores that won’t heal, white or red discoloration. Feeling numbness, tingling, thickening or lumps on the gums, tongue or cheeks is another sign you may have oral cancer; go see your dentist immediately should you notice these symptoms.
Don’t Smoke, Don’t Chew Tobacco
Smoking is bad for your health, including your oral health. With smoke, it really doesn’t matter what kind; dispel the illusion that marijuana smoke is “good” for you, as like any other kind of smoke, inhalation can impact your gums, the coloration of your teeth, and more. Chewing tobacco is harmful, and increases the likeliness of oral cancer.
Schedule a Visit With Your Dentist
Almost half of Canadians who haven’t seen a dentist within the last year have some form of gum disease; dentists can clean the tartar off your teeth, check for signs of decay and disease, and give you practical tips on better oral care. Plenty of folks want to get their teeth cleaned, but don’t have a dentist; there are ways of finding a recognized dental office. You can talk with friends and family, do online research, or discuss with a previous dentist. No matter who you are, how good your oral care habits are, or how long it’s been, it’s always a good idea to make the annual trip to the dentist. Your health is worth it.