World Oral Health Day – How Healthy is Your Mouth?
Oral health is more than just brushing your teeth. As any leading Stockport dentist knows, it is important to encourage all patients to continue taking a proactive approach to looking after their oral health. With World Oral Health Day on 20th March 2019 highlighting how looking after your oral health protects tour overall health, we take a closer look at what you can do to place oral health at the top of your daily routine.
What is oral health?
Also known as oral hygiene, looking after oral health is looking after your whole mouth, and keeping your teeth clean as well as your gums and tongue. A great oral health routine can mean fewer dental problems and also keeps other issues at bay – including dental disease and bad breath.
The mouth is a hotbed of bacteria, something that we need to keep in check. But not all bacteria are bad. Good bacteria can help to keep our mouth in great condition, but it doesn’t take long for nasties to creep in.
What does a good oral hygiene routine look like?
There are several actions you can take daily that will keep your mouth healthy;
- Brush twice a day – brushing your teeth in the morning and before you go to bed gets rid of bad bacteria but allows the good stuff in your mouth to do its job. Brush twice a day, preferably with an electric toothbrush to get into all the crevices between teeth.
- Floss – flossing helps to dislodge any smaller pieces of trapped debris such as food between the teeth. This helps not only your teeth and gums but also keeps your breath fresh too. Bad breath can be a sign of stomach problems but in many cases, smelly breath is caused by food or drink particles lingering in the mouth. Floss at least once a day, rinsing your mouth with water to remove any dislodged particles of food.
- Consider mouthwash – using mouthwash isn’t compulsory for a hygienically clean mouth but many patients use it as a means of freshening their breath. It can also help with the removal of food particles and debris from the gums and cheeks.
- Don’t forget your tongue – many people diligently clean their teeth morning and night for two minutes each time but fail to clean their tongue. Just like your teeth and gums, food and drink settle on the tongue creating the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. This can lead to a number of problems, including bad breath. You can use an ordinary toothbrush to clean your tongue or a tongue scraper that removes the top layer of debris. Removing this plague also helps to protect your gums against disease.
Protect your mouth with lifestyle changes
Good oral hygiene is not just about brushing and flossing and swilling with mouthwash. A few lifestyle changes will have a positive impact on your oral health. Read on to find out what the experts suggest when it comes to good oral health.
There is a lot of truth to the saying ‘we are what we eat’ and, unfortunately, sugary snacks and drinks have become a real issue in recent years. We know that excessive sugar contributes to tooth decay and experts recommend swapping your sugary drinks for water and crunchy vegetables as a way to stop the decline of your oral health.
Eating fruit is great too but dentists advise keeping an eye on not only how much fruit we consume but the kind of fruit we eat too. Acidic fruits such as oranges can strip some of the good bacteria from our mouths and weaken the enamel over time.
Limiting sugary and acidic sweets and drinks, eating plenty of crunchy vegetables and following a daily brushing and flossing routine will keep your mouth in great shape.