Healthy teeth are the cornerstone of a healthy life. Poor oral health is linked to a whole range of severe health conditions, ranging from diabetes to cardiovascular disease.
Luckily, there is a lot you can do to safeguard your dental health.
Tips for Maintaining Healthy Teeth
Maintain a Good Oral Health Routine
This is the most crucial aspect of healthy teeth. A good oral health routine needs to begin in infancy, although it’s never too late to adopt one. A good oral health routine is based around three crucial elements:
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing once a day
- Visiting a dentist every six months.
If you do all these things, you’ll go a long way towards protecting your teeth for the long haul.
Avoid Sugary and Acidic Foods
It comes as no surprise that your diet has an enormous impact on oral health. Your teeth are the first point of contact for anything you put in your mouth. Sugary and acidic foods and beverages can be extremely damaging, so only consume these types of foods in moderation. Foods to be wary of include chocolate, sugary drinks, lollies, fruit juices and even processed meats.
Choose the Right Diet
It’s all well and good to dictate what you shouldn’t eat, but what should you eat to look after your teeth? The answer is the boring one you always hear from doctors and health professionals – a well-balanced diet with a focus on fruits and vegetables while limiting heavily-processed foods.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
The human body is a complex structure, and everything is connected in one way or another. Your lifestyle choices and the way you treat your body will have an effect on the health of your teeth. There is even evidence to suggest that a sedentary lifestyle and subsequent weight problems can affect dental health. So, if you want healthy teeth for life, maybe it’s time to take a look at your lifestyle.
The Importance of Visiting a Dentist
Having lifelong healthy teeth is ultimately your responsibility, but you do need help. It is simply impossible to say your teeth are healthy unless they are checked by a professional at least twice a year.
The reason your teeth need to be checked by dentist is that the signs of damage are often invisible. White, straight teeth are not necessarily a sign of healthy teeth. Decay can be undetectable, and if you wait too long in between visits, you will usually require fillings, root canals and in extreme cases, extractions.
If you visit the dentist twice a year, small amounts of decay and other issues can be detected and dealt with in far less invasive and expensive procedures. A professional clean is also necessary to remove plaque and tartar, which cannot be removed by brushing at home. If these substances aren’t removed they can create everything from tooth decay to advanced stages of gum disease.
Visiting the dentist every six months will also assist in:
- Detecting Oral Cancer: 90% of oral cancers have good treatment outcomes if they are found early. On the other hand, oral diseases can quickly spread to other parts of the body and become extremely difficult to treat. Dentists are trained to spot early signs of cancer and can refer you onto a specialist for further examination.
- Spotting Bruxism: Bruxism or teeth grinding can come about as a result of stress, anxiety or even just habit. The effects of bruxism can be devastating, and as it is an unconscious behaviour, the only way to treat it is via dental intervention. By wearing a nightguard, you can prevent damage to your teeth and protect your teeth for life.
- Medication-Related Issues: Sometimes the medication you take to improve your health can ruin your dental health. Medications causing dry mouth, or xerostomia, are particularly dangerous as decreased saliva can increase the risk of both tooth decay and gum disease.
- Gum Disease: Gum disease has many stages, ranging from early-stage gingivitis to periodontitis and even advanced stage gum disease. The sooner gum disease is spotted and treated, the better the outcome is. However, if gum disease progresses too far, it can be extremely complicated and even impossible to treat.