Did you know that dental issues can be an indicator of an overall health problem? One of the biggest misconceptions is that our teeth and gums have little to do with the rest of our body, but certain conditions can show early warning signs of underlying health complications, including dementia and heart disease. Furthermore, poor oral hygiene can lead to lower self-esteem and confidence, which impacts our overall wellbeing.
Our bodies function as an ecosystem, each component intrinsically connected, which highlights the importance of taking care of our teeth and gums as part of our goal of achieving optimal overall health. And with National Dentist’s Day on March 6th, now is the perfect time to educate our readers on proper dental hygiene that can affect almost all aspects of our lives.
1. Brush twice a day and floss daily
You’ve likely heard this time and again, but we can’t stress it enough – brush your teeth every day, twice a day and floss daily! Good oral hygiene starts at home and brushing is one of the best ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy. The most common reason patients fall prey to cavities and dental issues is a lack of brushing and flossing.
When you brush, set a timer for 2 minutes which will help you make sure your teeth are being cleaned thoroughly. Use fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities and avoid brushing rigorously. We recommend flossing before bedtime after food has accumulated throughout the day.
2. Limit your sugar intake
We understand that asking our patients to completely remove sugar from their diet is a bit of a reach, especially for those who enjoy their sweets. However, we do recommend limiting your sugar intake as much as possible.
A common misconception is that sugar causes tooth decay, but it’s actually how the sugar interacts with the plaque bacteria in our mouth. When we consume sugar, bacteria breaks down the sugar to make acid which then begins to slowly eat away at the protective enamel. The more sugar we consume, the higher the risk of developing cavities. This also takes us back to brushing and flossing daily to help remove plaque and brush away any acid that remains on our teeth.
3. Keep up with routine dental visits
Last but certainly not least, it’s important to see your dentist regularly. The frequency of your checkups depends on the health of your teeth and gums and your dentist will recommend how often you should come in for an appointment. Most patients will see their dentist every 6 months and the appointment will typically include a professional clean with an oral exam.
Professional cleaning removes harmful plaque that regular brushing can’t reach, helping prevent cavities and tooth decay. Regular dental appointments allow your dentist to identify and treat issues early on, which will help prevent serious dental and health problems.
Show your appreciation for your dentist on National Dentists’ Day!
As a professional dental clinic in Calgary, we want to help you enjoy excellent oral health for life. However, we can’t do this without you! The best way to show your appreciation for your dentist is to follow our tips above – brush and floss daily, limit your sugar intake, and keep up with regular dental appointments.