Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. Oral health is integral for overall health, and the mouth is vulnerable to many different diseases. In fact, oral health is even linked to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Having a healthy mouth is crucial to living a healthy life.
It is essential to take good care of your oral health with the steps below:
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Brushing twice a day helps to remove plaque, which can build up on your teeth and cause decay. If you are unable to brush after meals, you should at least rinse your mouth with water.
You should floss daily. Flossing helps to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth. You can also use a fluoride rinse to help strengthen your teeth.
If you use mouthwash, choose a formula that has fluoride in it. Rinse your mouth with a fluoride rinse for one minute, then spit it out. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes.
Eating a healthy diet is another way to help maintain good oral health at home. Nutrients in the food you eat can help build strong, healthy teeth, gums, and bones.
These nutrients include:
Calcium and phosphorus are the two most important nutrients for your teeth. Calcium and phosphorus work together to strengthen bones and teeth. Calcium is also needed to help make teeth resistant to tooth decay. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, which is needed to make red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the cells in the body, including those in the gums and teeth. Vitamin A, or retinol, helps increase saliva production. Saliva helps fight tooth decay and gum disease. Vitamin E, or tocopherol, helps decrease inflammation in your gums, which can help prevent gum disease.
Tobacco use in any form can have a negative impact on your oral health. It can lead to oral cancer, tooth decay, bad breath, gum disease, and many other dental problems. The best way to improve your oral and overall health is to quit using tobacco in any form. Addiction to tobacco is difficult to overcome, so it’s important to get support. Talk to your dentist or doctor about quitting.
Dentists also warn their patients about teeth grinding or bruxism. This condition is marked by the clenching of the jaw and sometimes by the grinding of teeth. It can cause major damage to dental work, so it’s important to treat it. If your dentist recommends a nighttime mouth guard, be sure to wear yours every night.
If you’re an athlete, it’s important to protect your teeth with a mouthguard. A mouthguard is a removable appliance that fits over your teeth. It’s designed to protect your teeth and mouth from injury. While mouthguards aren’t mandatory, they are recommended for contact sports, such as football, hockey, and wrestling.
If you participate in sports, ask your dentist about mouthguards.
Visiting the dentist twice a year for professional hygiene appointments is important. Professional cleanings remove dental plaque and tartar from the teeth, which helps prevent cavities and gum disease. Additionally, your dentist is also likely to detect signs of oral cancer, tooth decay, or other oral health issues.
At Diana Dizik, D.D.S., General & Cosmetic Dentistry, you can find solutions to all your dental problems. Call (650) 348-5424 to book an appointment, or visit us at 720 N El Camino Real, San Mateo, CA 94401 for all your dental concerns.