Reflect on Your Personal Routine
The Canadian Dental Association has, declared, April is officially “Oral Health Month” a time to reflect on what we are doing for our personal routine. What are you doing to keep your mouth, and ultimately, your whole body healthy? Recently the world has become painfully aware of the effects of viruses and bacteria. Even the smallest organisms can sometimes cause big problems. Although related, let’s be purposely distracted for a moment on something other than the current pandemic. (COVID-19)
Good oral health can have a positive impact on our quality of life. Chronic pain, missing teeth and infections alter the way we talk and socialize with people. Such conditions can also dictate what foods we eat and even influence proper nutrition, which is especially important for young people who are still growing. Therefore, oral health affects your physical, mental and social wellness.
Make Good Choices
Choose carefully what you eat. Avoid sugary drinks and foods with sugar, catalyst for bacteria and plaque. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as that. There are many foods that can be bad for your oral health. Rather than repeat previous posts, see our blog “The Eight Worst Foods for Your Teeth”. Drink lots of water. A hydrated mouth not only reduces bacteria, but many water sources include fluoride which strengthens tooth enamel.
Practice proper oral hygiene. This includes keeping your mouth clean by brushing and flossing at least twice every day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Try to spend a minimum two minutes when brushing, making sure you clean the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Flossing (or flossing alternatives) is essential to clean areas your brush can’t reach, like between the teeth and under the gum line. Floss once a day whenever possible.
Smoking has a significant impact on oral health as well as your health in general. Very few dentists smoke because they see the effects of it firsthand and up close. Smoking can severely damage your teeth, gums, and mouth. Nicotine and the tar in the tobacco yellow your teeth quickly and turn them brown after only a few years. Smoking is also linked to gum disease, the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Also, among other illnesses, smoking can cause oral cancer. Oral cancer can occur anywhere in your mouth, including the tongue, lips, cheeks, gums, salivary glands, and tonsils. Unfortunately, oral cancer is difficult to catch early not showing symptoms until its advanced.
Regular Visits When Possible
After the pandemic, visit your dentist (Dr. Stephen Mathews) regularly, every 6-9 months if possible. He and his team are your best source for support to keeping your oral health in great shape. And remember not to suffer with a dental emergency during the mandated closures. Erbsville Dental, Waterloo is open for such emergencies. Stay safe, and call with any questions. 519-342-1166