Oral diseases are among the most common diseases in the...
Oral diseases are among the most common diseases in the global population affecting people across demographies. It is unfortunate because most oral diseases are easily preventable and treatable if diagnosed early. A 2019 study estimated that over 3.5 billion people are affected by oral diseases globally. It is because oral care and hygiene are highly neglected and overlooked by the general population.
What comes to your mind when you think of health? You think of nutrition, healthy eating, exercise, physical strength, skincare, etc. Most of you won't even think of oral health. People tend to forget to take care of their oral health.
Whatever you choose to eat and drink has to pass through your mouth. Consuming a lot of junk food and sugary drinks leads to the decay of teeth. It causes pain, discomfort, and even tooth loss. Improper cleaning of teeth causes the accumulation of a biofilm called plaque; if not removed, it can harden into tartar. Plaque and tartar cause gum diseases which lead to bad breath, bleeding gums, and premature loosening of teeth.
Your oral hygiene directly affects your overall health. Poor oral hygiene and oral diseases are linked to endocarditis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and lung infection. Pregnant people with gum diseases can have premature birth and low birth weight babies.
Oral health maintenance is important to improving your health and wellness. Here are the top five tips to take care of your oral health.
- Brush your teeth twice a day: Most people brush their teeth once daily which is not enough. Brush your teeth twice daily to clean the plaque properly, avoid tooth decay and prevent bad breath. Use a soft-bristled brush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to brush your teeth.
- Floss once daily: Flossing is still not very popular among people. Tooth brushing cleans the tooth surface but the toothbrush bristles cannot reach the area between the teeth. It can lead to the accumulation of food particles and plaque in that area causing plaque formation, decay, and gum diseases. To avoid this, start flossing every day. Ask your dentist about proper flossing technique.
- Clean tongue daily: Another overlooked part of oral hygiene is the tongue. The tongue surface is covered with taste buds and is rough. It acts as a harbor for bacterial growth that can cause bad breath. Use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue daily.
- Maintain a healthy diet: Bacteria in your mouth break down the food and release acid. If you consume more starchy, sugary, and junk food (and drinks), and don't clean your teeth properly, an excess amount of acid is produced which eventually causes tooth decay. For good oral health, be mindful of what you eat and drink. Avoid eating junk food. Eat healthier, fiber and protein-rich food like vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, etc. Drink plenty of water. Do not snack often.
- Regular dental checkups: It is important to visit your dentist regularly to get your oral and dental checkups. It can help you catch the disease at an early stage when it can be prevented from spreading and treated easily. It will help you save your natural tooth structure, money, and pain. The frequency of your dental checkups should depend on your oral hygiene, overall well-being, and lifestyle. It is commonly believed that dental checkups should be done every six months. If you have good oral hygiene, visit the dentist once a year. If your oral hygiene and overall health are not good, you might want to visit the dentist every three to four months.
Bonus tip: Gargle after every meal. It will remove food particles stuck between your teeth and prevent bad breath.
Remember to follow these tips and make them a part of your lifestyle to maintain good oral and dental health. A healthy mouth will help you improve your overall health, wellness, and lifestyle.