Although the best time to start practicing good oral hygiene is when your first tooth erupts, not all parents brush their baby’s first tooth. However, those who do this help their child to learn good dental habits at an early age. Statistically, half of the children who are 15 years or younger have cavities, so parents need to start teaching good dental habits at an earlier age. Usually, at 2 years of age, children can begin supervised brushing, and a soft toothbrush can be a good teething aid. Since good oral health is one of the necessities for good physical health at any age, improving your and your child’s oral health may eliminate some future problems with physical health.
Ramifications Of Poor Oral Hygiene
The state of your oral health will impact your physical health either positively or negatively. The tissues in your mouth are more permeable than most others in your body, which means that bacteria and infection in your mouth are more readily absorbed into your bloodstream. The bacteria are then carried to other parts of your body, including your major organs, and disease can start. According to the Mayo Clinic, your physical health may suffer when you have poor oral health and you may be more likely to develop diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and blood infections.
What Steps Should I Take For Better Oral Health?
Good oral health is related to good oral hygiene, but it’s also related to your dietary habits. When you eat foods that are highly refined and processed, you can contribute to decay and gingivitis, even if you brush and floss daily.
A Healthy Diet
When you eat, minute particles of food can remain between your teeth and in the crevices of your gums. When those particles are high in sugars and carbohydrates, then the bacteria in your mouth latch onto them and the process of decay can start. If you eat healthy foods such as raw vegetables, then the fiber in them can remove some of the bacteria in your mouth. Healthy foods also contain significantly less sugar and carbohydrates, so there’s less fuel for the bacteria. A healthy diet is the first place to start when you want good oral hygiene.
Brushing And Flossing
Ideally, you should brush and floss after each meal or snack. Practically, this isn’t always possible. At a minimum, however, you should brush first thing in the morning, before you eat or drink anything, and brush and floss before you go to bed each night. Brushing in the morning before you eat or drink can eliminate the bacteria that has formed overnight in your mouth. Otherwise, it will go into your stomach and become part of your body. Brushing also stimulates the production of saliva, which can aid in your digestive process and eliminate dry mouth.
Seal Your Teeth
A thin coating can be applied to the backs of your teeth that will help prevent the formation of cavities for both children and adults.
Use The Correct Dental Aid
You should change your toothbrush at the beginning of each quarter, which will ensure that the bristles are able to reach the crevices that they need. Older adults may need an electric toothbrush and those with braces may need a special type of toothbrush.
The incidence of oral cancer is on the rise, so be sure you get screened for oral cancer when you visit your dentist.
Sports And Bruxism
Anyone who engages in sports or who grinds their teeth should wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth.
Regular Dental Cleaning And Checkups
Even though you may have excellent oral hygiene, you need to have regular dental checkups, annually at a minimum. You also need to have your teeth cleaned by a professional at least annually. Even the best brushing program can miss pockets of food detritus or the onset of plaque that a professional cleaning can catch. Your dentist can notice issues that are in their early stages that you may miss, and by addressing them proactively, you can prevent them from becoming a major problem.
Exercise For Better Oral Hygiene
Exercise promotes improved circulation and boosts your immune system, both of which can help your body fight illness and the onset of infection. If you have an infection, however, you should seek professional help immediately. Although some aspects of exercising can have a deleterious effect on your oral hygiene, those factors can be avoided.
Exercising can reduce your body mass index, or BMI, which can reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes and high blood pressure. Diabetes has been proven to adversely affect your oral health.
When you exercise, avoid sports drinks and rehydrate with water. This protects your teeth from the corrosive effects of acidic sports drinks and reduces the sugar available for the bacteria in your mouth.
Maintain Good Hydration
Those who breathe through their mouths are more likely to damage their teeth and gums because they become dehydrated, which can lead to periodontal disease. Maintain your hydration during and after your exercise routine and, if possible, adjust your workout to reduce mouth-breathing.
Change Your Workout
Many types of exercise provide physical benefits without the need for heavy exertion that requires mouth-breathing.
Meditation provides many health benefits, two of which are reducing cravings and reducing stress. When we’re stressed, we often crave sweets or crunchy junk food. Meditation can alleviate stress and therefore the urge to eat from frustration. It also reduces cravings, so the urges to eat cake, cookies, candy, and ice cream can be eliminated.
Rely On Preventive Dentistry
Pay attention to the condition of your teeth and gums. If you notice any pain or discomfort in your gums or around one of your teeth, be sure to make a dental appointment so that the problem can be addressed before it worsens.
If it has been a while since you’ve seen a dentist, then make an appointment today. Preventive dentistry is one of the best methods for promoting good oral health. If you need preventive dentistry in NYC Dr. Marc Lazare is one of the best in the NYC area for general and cosmetic dentistry. Preventing problems is the goal of his practice and he can help you maintain good oral health throughout your life.