You’re probably well aware of the importance of a good routine of oral hygiene. While brushing your teeth twice a day and daily flossing are essential, there are other steps you can take to improve your oral health in 2019 that may not be quite so obvious.
Here, your Waterloo dentist – Waterloo Emergency Dental Centre will look at a few aspects of oral healthcare that can sometimes be overlooked. We’ll be offering advice on the importance of:
- Drinking plenty of water.
- Maintaining a healthy diet.
- Regular dental check-ups and cleanings.
Oral and General Health Benefits of Staying Hydrated
Your body needs water to survive, and health professionals recommend drinking eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day.
Your body weight is about 60 per cent water, which is used by every cell, tissue and organ to help regulate temperature and ensure you’re functioning effectively.
We lose water through sweating, breathing and the digestion process, so it’s vital to re-hydrate your body. Water is by far the healthiest drink and it’s literally available on tap in your home. Tap water can go a long way in helping to keep your teeth healthy, particularly if it contains fluoride.
Oral health benefits of drinking tap water include:
- Making your teeth stronger by fortifying enamel – the outer protective layer of your teeth. Fluoride in tap water protects enamel by re-mineralization – restoring minerals that have been lost due to attack by sugars and acids created by bacterial plaque.
- Keeping your mouth clean. Water flushes out food debris that decay-causing bacteria thrive on and dilutes the acids produced by oral bacteria. On the other hand, juice, sodas and sports drinks can leave unwanted sugar behind.
- Avoiding dry mouth. Saliva is your mouth’s first line of defence against cavities, and 99 per cent of it is water. If you’re not producing enough saliva, you’ll likely get dry mouth, a condition that makes it difficult to chew and swallow.
How to Eat Healthier
A common New Year resolution is to eat better but in today’s hectic world, the temptation of fast food and grabbing snacks on the go is ever present. Here are a few ideas from Waterloo Emergency Dental Centre to help improve your oral health by maintaining a nutritious diet.
One of the best ways to eat healthier is to include more fruit and vegetables in your diet while cutting back on foods laden with sugars and starches. This will help to reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease.
Chicken, fish and grains are also good for you, while dairy products help to strengthen bones and counteract acids created by bacteria in your mouth. Leafy greens will increase your output of saliva, which, as we’ve already seen, helps to prevent tooth decay.
We’ve also seen how tap water helps our oral health. It’s also a good – and far less costly – alternative to sodas, which are high in sugars and acids. Bear in mind that while diet sodas may be sugar-free, they may still high in acids.
Importance of Regular Dental Check-Ups and Cleanings
It may not be the appointment you most look forward to, but regular dental check-ups should be an integral part of your oral health routine.
Getting your teeth and gums examined every six months allows your dentist to spot potential problems and devise a course of action before any issues becomes serious, which typically makes treatment faster and more effective.
Your dentist will also be able to detect symptoms in your mouth that may point to a medical condition elsewhere. Research suggests several connections between oral health and issues such as heart disease.
Regular check-ups generally incorporate a professional cleaning, which plays an important role in maintaining your oral and overall health, while removing unsightly stains, enhancing your smile and keeping your breath fresh.
You may be able to get rid of a lot of bacterial plaque by brushing and flossing, but if plaque hardens into tartar (aka calculus), it can only be removed by a professional cleaning.
While professional cleanings are key in preventing gum disease and tooth loss, they can also help to reduce the risk of cancer, lung infections, diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Cleanings every six months are generally sufficient but may be needed more frequently, depending on the condition of your oral health.
To get the most out of your professional cleanings, you need to maintain a good routine of oral healthcare at home, and your Waterloo dentist Waterloo Emergency Dental Centre can advise you on the most effective brushing and flossing techniques.
Simple Changes for a Better Quality of Life
2019 could be the year you make a couple of simple changes at home to improve your oral and general health by drinking more water and eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients.
These steps, supported by regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings, could help you lay a solid foundation for a lifetime of strong and healthy teeth and gums – and a strong and healthy body.