Why is Oral Hygiene so Important? Teeth and Gum Care Tips
Oral Hygiene: Your teeth are such an important part of your appearance, and can often make or break a first impression. Looking after your teeth and gums at home is an easy way to keep your smile healthy and in tip-top shape. It doesn’t have to be expensive or even difficult.
At Taylor View Dental in Idaho Falls, we care about your smile. We have put together some handy tips on taking care of your teeth and mouth, naturally.
Why is Oral Hygiene so important?
The state of your mouth has a much greater impact on your body’s health than just your smile. Gum disease can result from the accumulation of plaque on the gum line, potentially causing tooth decay, tooth loss, and infection in your mouth. As your mouth is the door to your body, other conditions that can result in poor oral hygiene include:
- Infective Endocarditis
- Bacterial Pneumonia
- Pregnancy Complications including low birth weight
How to keep your teeth and gums healthy?
We all know that brushing your teeth twice a day, regular flossing and regular dental checkups are tried and tested ways to help maintain good oral hygiene but are there other methods to keep our mouths healthy?
You won’t be surprised to discover that the food we eat has a big impact on the health of our teeth and gums. Certain foods can be added to your daily diet which supports healthy bacteria levels within your mouth. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends we add more grains,cereals, dairy, and low-fat protein to our diets. They go on to recommend chewing hard, fibrous and watery fruit and vegetables to both remove food from our teeth and encourage the production of saliva.
The ADA also recommends limiting your daily snack intake as these foods tend to beon the sugary side. When you eat sugar, the bacteria in your mouth will love you, and that’s not a good thing. They feed off the sugar which converts to acid and gradually damages your teeth. Try snacking on nuts, fruit, or cheese.
Foods you should try incorporating into your diets include:
- Carrots, celery, and leafy greens
- Yogurt and cheeses
- Lean proteins
- Black and green teas
There are 6 main vitamins and minerals which, with a little planning, you can incorporate into your diet to help your teeth and gums naturally. By increasing these elements in your body, your tooth enamel will naturally become stronger and therefore protect your teeth from food acid.
The vitamins and minerals the ADA recommend you to increase are:
- Calcium — found in dairy, leafy greens, almonds, and beans.
- Vitamin D — helps the body carry and absorb calcium. It is found in dairy and from the sun.
- Vitamin C — helps repair teeth and gums and is found in oranges, kale,and berries.
- Phosphorus — naturally helps build and repair enamel. It is found in meat, eggs, fish, and poultry.
- Vitamin A — helps build enamel and can be found in orange food such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and cantaloupe.
- Vitamin K — helps bone, thus teeth density, and can be found in brussel sprouts and broccoli.
Teeth and Gum Care Tips
So, now you know how to change your diet in order to help your teeth and gums. Here are some tips we recommend in helping you take care of your teeth and mouth:
- Drink plenty of water — This will help wash away excess food in your mouth as well as dilute harmful acid in your mouth.
- Oil Pulling — It may sound strange, but it works. By swilling an edible oil like coconut oil around your mouth for 20 minutes, you will help to remove food from your teeth and prevent it from reattaching
- Chew Sugar-free gum — After meals, when it’s impractical to get to your toothbrush, reach for chewing gum. It will increase saliva production, and dilute the acid in your mouth.
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste — Look for the ADA recommended toothpaste containing fluoride. This will help strengthen your teeth, preventing decay.
- Brush your tongue — This will reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth and give you an overall cleaner feeling. Add this to your daily oral routine.
- Treat heartburn —Heartburn can bring damaging acid into your mouth.
- Treat teeth grinding— Ask your dentist to recommend treatment for this as it wears down tooth enamel and can even cause fractures in your teeth.
- Visit your dentist for regular cleans and while there ask them for tips on how to brush your teeth better.