The mouth is home to countless bacteria. While most are harmless, some can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Dental disease from poor oral hygiene can affect your overall health. Studies have found that periodontitis (the severe form of gum disease) is linked with health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia (AAP).
Good oral hygiene is part of a healthy lifestyle. Make daily dental care part of your wellness routine. Having a healthy smile may also keep the rest of your body healthy. Protect your oral health and your whole health by following these dental care tips:
- Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day. Brush for two minutes, with a fluoride toothpaste. Try brushing your tongue after you brush your teeth. This helps reduce bacteria that collects on your tongue.
- Floss between your teeth at least once a day. This really helps prevent plaque from building-up between your teeth and the gum line, a major cause of dental disease.
- Add mouthwash to your dental hygiene routine. Mouthwash helps reduce plaque buildup, prevents gingivitis (the earliest form of gum disease), and helps freshen your breath.
- See your dentist regularly. Regular dental cleanings remove plaque to protect your teeth and help treat any dental problems that can affect your oral and overall health.
- Eat a balanced diet and limit sugary snacks. Good eating habits can help you maintain strong teeth, healthy gums, and overall health. Choose nutritious foods and limit foods high in sugar, salt, and saturated fat.
- Drink water in place of sweetened beverages. Water helps cleans your mouth with every sip. It washes away leftover food and sugar. It also helps keep you hydrated when exercising.
- Avoid tobacco and drugs. Tobacco use and drugs not only harm your body, but can increase the risk of tooth erosion, gum disease, mouth, and throat cancer.