April is Oral Health Month, which is a great time to remind ourselves about the importance of oral health. Practicing good dental hygiene and following healthy lifestyle habits is more important than ever as we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic.
Below we have compiled information on why your oral health is so important, and tips on how you can continue to maintain your oral health while spending extra time at home.
The Connection Between Your Oral and Overall Health
Like other areas of the body, your mouth contains lots of harmless bacteria. However, your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and unwanted bacteria can cause disease.
Normally the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Studies suggest that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with a severe form of gum disease (periodontitis) might play a role in some diseases. Diseases including cardiovascular disease, pneumonia and even birth related complications. Additionally, certain diseases such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can lower the body’s resistance to infection which in turn makes oral health problems more severe.
This information shows the direct correlation between oral and overall health. This means you should be making your oral health a priority to ensure that your overall health remains in good standing.
How To Maintain Your Oral Health
Protecting your oral health is the first step in protecting your overall health. Below we have compiled a list of actions you can take to help improve and maintain your oral health:
- Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss daily.
- Use mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing.
- Eat a healthy diet and limit food with added sugar.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if bristles deteriorate.
- Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings at least twice a year.
- Avoid tobacco use.
- Contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.
If you have more questions about how to maintain your oral health or would like to book your next appointment. Contact us today.