Oral hygiene is something that is often overlooked, yet the state of our teeth affects our overall health. Most people will take care of their bodies by getting plenty of exercise but will neglect their teeth.
Good oral hygiene is essential in preventing dental problems like tartar and plaque, which are the main causes of gum disease and tooth decay. Gum disease has also been linked to serious health issues like strokes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.
Signs of poor oral hygiene
- Tooth pain
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Chronic bad breath (Halitosis)
- Swollen or bleeding gums
- Tooth erosion
- Constant dry mouth
How to practice good oral health
How often do you brush your teeth? A clean mouth will have bacteria, a lack of oral hygiene will mean even more bacteria.
Ideally you should be brushing your teeth twice a day. When brushing you want to take your time and not rush. You should spend 2 minutes in order to do a thorough job. Be gentle, you don’t want to hurt your gums.
Don’t brush your teeth straight after a meal. Allow one hour, especially if you have eaten something acidic and don’t forget to scrape your tongue, which is full of bacteria.
Gently brush your teeth using circular motions back and forth, cleaning the chewing surfaces of your teeth, the outside and inside. I would suggest you use an electric toothbrush as this will reduce plaque.
Always clean your toothbrush using warm water after each use and let it stand upright alone. Make sure to change the head every 3 months. If you have a normal toothbrush make sure the bristles are soft.
Get into the habit of flossing your teeth or using inter-dental brushes. Flossing allows you to reach the bacteria in all the tight spaces between your teeth, which are difficult for your toothbrush to reach. Again be gentle when flossing and most importantly be consistent.
Visit a dentist and hygienist once a year. No one likes going to the dentist but it is essential in maintaining a healthy mouth. If you have not seen your dentist in a long time then I would advise a visit.
Limit sugary foods and drinks for better oral hygiene
Limit acidic foods and drinks such as fruit juices, fizzy drinks, lemons, oranges, limes, strawberries and alcohol. Don’t hold them in your mouth for a long period of time. Best to use a straw when consuming acidic drinks.
I always start my morning with a warm water and lemon using a straw to protect my teeth from enamel erosion. Always drink water after consuming acidic drinks or foods and wait one hour before brushing your teeth.
Saliva keeps acids under control so avoid a dry mouth and keep sipping water through out the day. Consuming large amounts of alcohol will remove the saliva leaving a very dry mouth.
Red wine, tea and coffee also stain your teeth so limit consumption. Drink plenty of water when consuming these beverages.
If you smoke you should seriously consider stopping. Smoking causes lung and throat cancer. It is also one of the causes of gum disease.
Remember to be consistent. Most people who neglect oral health end up losing their teeth by the age of 60. The earlier you start taking care of your teeth the better.
I hope you have found the above helpful. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me, and if you would like to kick start your health journey with me check out my coaching packages coaching-packages