Poor oral health can have a dramatic affect on our lives. Pain, infection and broken or missing teeth not only dictate our day-to-day ability to eat and function, but can also have a deep emotional effect. What’s more, dental researchers have gone a step further to discover that the bacteria that reside in our mouths can enter the bloodstream and may be linked to diabetes, heart disease and stroke as well as pre-term and low-birth-weight babies.
The Canadian Dental Association recommends these five steps to help reduce the risk of oral disease:
1. See Your Dentist Regularly
Every time you visit your dentist for a checkup and cleaning you’ll be thoroughly checked for any signs of oral disease.
2. Keep Your Mouth Clean
Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day and floss once a day. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush and you’ll remove the plaque and bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.
3. Follow a Healthy Diet
An overall healthy diet will definitely contribute to your oral health, but it’s especially important to limit how much sugar and acidic food you consume as they are the main causes of dental problems.
4. Check Your Mouth Regularly
According to the Canadian Dental Association, nine out of 10 Canadians will develop gum disease at some point in their lives. In-between visits to your dentist, check your mouth yourself for signs of gum disease such as red or sensitive gums, bleeding when you brush or floss, loose or sensitive teeth or a change in the appearance of your teeth and gums.
5. Avoid Tobacco Products
Cigarettes and chewing tobacco are dangerous to both your oral health and your overall health. Stained and missing teeth, infected gums and bad breath are just some of the problems they can cause, but mouth, tongue and lip cancer and heart disease are also related to tobacco consumption.