Going in to see the dentist for a regular teeth cleaning is only part of maintaining your oral health. There are many other lifestyle choices that you can make to ensure that your mouth is in great shape, just like the rest of your body. Here are some things you can do that can contribute to good overall dental health:
Stay Away from Smoking and Tobacco
While smoking and tobacco are leading causes of yellowed and stained teeth, these habits are also very harmful to your gums, throat, and tongue. Using these products can contribute to a number of oral cancers, and it can also be very toxic to the gum tissue. Smoking and tobacco can inhibit blood flow in the gums, which can lead to advanced tooth decay, diseased gums, and tooth loss.
Keep Alcohol to a Minimum
While it’s OK to indulge in the occasional alcoholic drink from time to time, many dentists recommend that you stay away from excessive drinking. Many of these drinks, including wine, are full of sugar, which feeds the cavity-inducing bacteria in your mouth. In addition, alcohol dehydrates your mouth, which creates the perfect place for these bacteria to fester and cause even more damage to your oral health.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Keeping your weight in check is another way to keep the dentist happy. The best way to do this is to eat healthy foods that are also great for your mouth. Foods like apples, pears, and celery are perfect for oral health because they help remove damaging plaque. If you are a denture wearer, keeping your weight consistent can also ensure that your dentures fit properly. A sudden weight gain can force you to have to have your dentures re-fitted to the new shape of your gums.
Be Careful with Antibiotics
Many people may not be aware that some of the antibiotics prescribed for colds or other health conditions can be harmful to your mouth. Some of these medications can cause your mouth to become very dry, which can be the root cause for gum disease. Be sure to take precautions when using antibiotics by using a hydrating mouth rinse until you have stopped the medication.
Always Visit the Dentist Regularly
Just as you would go to your primary physician for your annual check-up, you should always make going to the dentist a regular part of your lifestyle. Having a thorough exam and teeth cleaning is the best way to ensure that your dental hygiene habits are up to par. The dentist can often catch potential problems early on before they cause any serious damage.
Taking care of your mouth is one of the best ways to stay healthy. In addition to teeth cleaning, it pays to practice good oral hygiene to ensure that your mouth is in great condition.