‘Oral health’ is hardly a phrase that would pop in one’s mind when ‘healthcare’ is mentioned. Truth be told, oral health is easily overlooked due to its seemingly non-fatal nature. But, nothing could be further from the truth. In competition, oral cancer triumphs by having the highest death rate over other familiar cancers like cervical cancer, laryngeal cancer, testicular cancer and endocrine cancers.
The Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 estimated that oral diseases affected half of the world’s population (3.58 billion people) with tooth decay being the most prevalent condition assessed
These are reasons strong enough for our oral health to be taken seriously.
Your mouth deserves regular and intricate care to be healthy and by following these 6 tips, you can attain a healthy mouth and a healthier body
BRUSHING IS NOT ENOUGH
Brushing is essential for the teeth. It keeps gum diseases at bay and keeps your teeth shiny white. However, there is more to the mouth than just teeth; and to take care of the parts that the brush can’t, flossing and rinsing should be integral components in your oral hygiene routine.
A floss reaches the narrow spaces between your teeth that the bristles of your brush can’t and expels any stuck food remnants along with other detrimental materials. Flossing at least once a day can be extremely beneficial in the overall cleansing of your mouth.
Rinsing your mouth with salt water can help to reduce harmful bacteria in your mouth. In addition to that, it is also an effective cure to toothaches. Mouthwash is also an effective weapon against tartar, gingivitis and tooth decay, its benefits further include the mineralisation of the enamel of your teeth.
MIND THE GRIND
In moments of stress or intense mental activities, consciously or unconsciously we tend to grind our teeth. This rather casual activity has a significant impact on your oral health.
Teeth grinding can cause excessive wear and tear on your teeth resulting in their enamel (outer layer) getting cracked. Excessive grinding alters the structure of your teeth and can also encourage tooth sensitivity. It also exerts heavy strain on the jaw muscles which can lead to chronic pain. Headaches too are a very common result of teeth grinding.
So, mind your jaw the next time when you clench it.
SAY ‘AAH’ AT LEAST TWICE A YEAR
Let’s face it, we all hate going to the dentist but, the ugly truth of life is the acknowledgement of its necessity. Apart from visiting the dentist for oral ailments, one should ideally visit him at least twice a year for regular checkups.
The regular visits are extremely beneficial as your dentist can detect any issues that you may be oblivious to; problems such as gum disease, cavities, and oral cancer don’t get visible or lead to pain until they reach severe, more advanced stages. Dentists can also check for tartar accumulation and plague as well.
The fear of needles and dental procedures need not stop you from regular visits to the dentist. If a potential for any operational procedure is recognised, the dentist can use a process of ‘IV Sedation’ to evade anxiety. It is a type of anaesthesia that makes you think you’re unconscious, however, you’re still awake and would be able to respond to the commands of the doctor.
The implementation of ‘IV Sedation’ is commonly done in cases of immediate care with processes like intraosseous infusion.
Finally, regular visits to the dentist will also aid you in maintaining clean teeth and keep bad breath in check.
MAKE FRIENDS WITH ‘FLUORIDE’
Fluoride is your teeth’s best friend; the advantages of having it on your teeth are countless. It strengthens the surface of your teeth and makes them potent to the harmful effects of acid on them. Consumption of fluoride by children makes it enter their bloodstream and become an effective catalyst in the development of their permanent teeth. In addition to this, fluoride also aids in speeding the process of remineralisation of teeth.
The presence of fluoride is rather abundant in toothpaste and mouthwashes nowadays and it is highly recommended for one to use these products. It is also becoming an increasingly common practice to let fluoride sit on your teeth overnight by not rinsing the fluoride toothpaste for stronger, more resilient teeth.
KEEP CHECK ON THE BOOZE
There is no denying the fact that intoxicants such as alcohol and tobacco have a negative impact on the overall health of an individual. When it specifically comes to ‘oral health’, it is proven that gum disease, tooth decay and mouth sores are more likely to happen to heavy drinkers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also states that people who consume alcohol are more likely to be prone to oral cancer than those who don’t. There are also other minute effects such as teeth staining and mouth dryness.
Tobacco is the worst enemy to your mouth. While an appropriate amount of alcohol consumption can still make for a healthy lifestyle, tobacco in any amount or form is hazardous. Cancer, gum irritation, increased rate of tooth decay, erosion, infection, rupturing of the immune system are only some of the damages that tobacco possesses the potential of inflicting on your mouth and body. It is therefore absolutely imperative for you to stay away from this substance for the sake of your well-being.
EMBRACE THE ESSENTIALS
The name of the oral health game is calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus. These nutrients are available in everyday foods like almonds, lentils, cheese and egg yolks. These nutrients play a strong role in making the jaw bones healthier and holding the teeth in place. Vitamin D specifically ensures the decrease of inflammation of gums which is associated with periodontal (gum) disease.
These nutrients and nutrients of all kinds generally have a good effect on your overall health and eating vegetables has proven to be beneficial for your oral health. So, eating right is always the right choice to make!
It’s a common observation that your smile is the first thing, people notice about you and your oral health plays a crucial part in putting up that perfect smile. Everything from your teeth to your breath makes a difference. So keep that smile healthy by treating your mouth to the remedies mentioned above.