Dental health often takes a backseat when people focus on achieving overall health. Poor dental health can lead to several other health problems. For example, gum disease gets linked to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about half of American adults have gum disease. And unfortunately, many people are unaware that they have it.
Dental health often gets disregarded because it can be expensive to maintain good oral hygiene. But this is a cost worth investing in, especially given the potential consequences of poor dental health.
If you’re looking for more reasons to take your dental health seriously, here are some statistics from the CDC:
- Almost 1 in 5 Americans have untreated tooth decay
- More than 1 in 3 Americans have periodontal disease
- Nearly 1 in 4 Americans have lost at least one permanent tooth prematurely
You must take care of your mouth and teeth to ensure overall health. Fortunately, you can rely on these steps to ensure you can maintain good dental health.
Daily Dental Hygiene Habits
Establishing a daily dental hygiene routine is essential to ensure good dental health. This routine should include brushing your teeth at least twice daily, flossing, and using mouthwash.
Brushing your teeth
Brush your teeth at least twice daily using a soft-bristled and high-quality toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Be sure to brush on the inside surfaces of your teeth and to use gentle circular motions. Spit out the toothpaste after brushing.
Floss between your teeth at least once daily to remove plaque and bacteria. Be sure to use gentle up-and-down motions and curve the floss around the base of each tooth. Spit out the floss after flossing.
Use mouthwash once a day to help kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Swish the mouthwash around in your mouth for at least 30 seconds before spitting it out.
These three routines will help remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums. In addition, be sure to see your dentist at least once a year for a professional cleaning and checkup.
Healthy Eating Habits
When eating a healthy diet, you will first consider your weight and physical appearance. However, your dental health will also get affected. Eating a healthy diet helps reduce the risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems.
A healthy diet includes:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy
- Lean protein
In addition to eating these foods, avoid sugary and sticky foods as much as possible, among other things. These types of foods can increase your risk of developing cavities. Also, avoid acidic drinks such as soda and sports drinks. The acid in these drinks can damage your tooth enamel.
Limiting snacking throughout the day can also help improve your dental health. If you make a snack, eat healthy snacks such as fruits or vegetables instead of sugary snacks.
You can get your daily recommended fruits and vegetables by eating a salad at lunch or adding fruit to your breakfast cereal. Adding whole grains to your diet is also accessible by choosing whole-wheat bread instead of white bread.
These simple dietary changes can make a big difference in your dental health.
Bad Habit Elimination
When it comes to dental health, one of the most important things you can do is avoid unhealthy habits like smoking and drugs. Smoking and drug use can lead to various dental problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer.
Smoking cigarettes is especially harmful to your dental health. Cigarette smoke contains toxins that can damage your gums and teeth. This damage can lead to tooth loss, gum disease, and oral cancer.
Smoking also increases your risk for other health problems such as heart disease and stroke. If you’re trying to quit smoking, talk to your dentist about quitting methods that are safe for your teeth and gums.
Drug use can also be harmful to your dental health. Many illegal drugs contain toxic chemicals that can damage your teeth and gums. In addition, using drugs can increase your risk for oral cancer.
If you’re struggling with drug addiction, get help from a qualified professional. Addiction is a severe problem that requires treatment. Avoiding these unhealthy habits is essential to maintaining good dental health. Be sure to talk to your dentist about any unhealthy habits you may have so they can advise on how to break them.
Visiting your dentist at least once a year is an excellent way to maintain your dental health. During your visit, your dentist will perform a professional cleaning and checkup. It will help remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums. In addition, your dentist will be able to detect any early signs of gum disease or tooth decay.
If left untreated, gum disease and tooth decay can lead to serious dental problems. Both dental issues lead to cavities, tooth pain, and tooth loss. For tooth loss, you might have to get vital dental implants to ensure the functionality and look of your smile.
Professional cleaning and checkup is the best way to avoid these serious dental problems. Be sure to visit your dentist at least once a year for optimum dental health.
Your dental health is essential to your overall health. Following these tips can maintain good dental health and avoid serious dental problems.