Studies have shown that there is a direct link between your dental health and overall well-being. Infection in your teeth and gums can spread to your bodily organs and systems when left untreated. Also, your oral health can give important clues about what is happening to the rest of your body. For this reason, it’s important that you take oral care and hygiene seriously.
Some of the things that could hurt your oral health include: your lifestyle choices (such as shortage of physical activity and sleep); excessive consumption of alcohol; nutritional imbalance, and smoking. So if you are guilty of any of these bad habits, now is the best time to make significant lifestyle changes.
1. Change your diet
What you ingest has a huge impact on your oral health, more than brushing and flossing. Due to the fact that saliva in your mouth provides minerals that can strengthen teeth, food that increases saliva production is highly recommended. These include fruits and vegetables, cheese, plain yogurt, eggs, leafy greens, and almonds.
But if you are on a high sugar diet, you are feeding the bacteria in your mouth, leading to cavities, tooth decay, and gum problems. These bacteria produce acids and enzymes that weaken your teeth’s enamel.
This, however, does not necessarily mean that you should totally avoid sugar. Instead, reduce your sugar intake by limiting sugary snacks and drinks. Most importantly, you must brush and floss after consuming sugary and starchy food.
2. Limit coffee and sodas
You may have heard that coffee and sodas are great for teeth, but only when consumed in small amounts. They contain phosphorus that is known to improve oral health. But when taken in great amounts, the phosphorus will beat the calcium in your body, causing dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
Furthermore, these beverages have harmful additives like corn syrups and food dyes that cause tooth staining. So if you can’t totally remove these drinks from your diet, then you must reduce the amount that you consume.
Drink water instead. Sipping water with fluoride can do a lot for your teeth. In fact, this is the easiest yet the most vital thing you can do to prevent cavities. With every sip, water washes away any residue or leftover food in your teeth and gums. Also, it prevents dry mouth. Moreover, it helps dilute the acids that are produced by the bacteria in your mouth.
In addition to water, drinking milk is also recommended. It contains high amounts of calcium that can strengthen your teeth and build strong enamel, helping you achieve a healthy smile.
3. Stop smoking
Smoking can cause not only oral health problems but other complications in your body parts as well. So aim to stop smoking now! Not only will your teeth be improved if you do this, but quitting smoking will eradicate other ill effects coming from the agents that neutralize the smell of tobacco.
Masking the odor of tobacco by drinking coffee and tea or chewing gums and candies is a bad habit. This doubles the damage because the nicotine and tar in cigarettes will destroy your gums and discolor your teeth.
Furthermore, tobacco will foster the growth of bacteria in your mouth, thus harming your oral cells and degrading the bones supporting your teeth. As a result, your risk of losing teeth is increased. What’s worse, smoking is known to cause oral cancer. So make it a goal to quit smoking.
4. Limit alcohol intake
Studies have shown that alcohol can benefit your health, but only when taken in moderation. Excessive alcohol intake will cause your mouth to dry up, making it a good environment for bacteria to grow and multiply. Moreover, alcohol addiction makes people neglect to care about their teeth.
The most harmful alcoholic beverages that can harm your oral health are cocktails as they contain lots of sugar. So if you choose to drink cocktails, you have to alternate these with water to wash away the sugar from your teeth and gums.
5. Take supplements
Supplements will boost the amount of vitamins and minerals in your body, which then help your immune system to fight off diseases. Calcium and vitamin D are vital for your teeth and gums. Other vital nutrients that promote good oral health are vitamin B-complex, magnesium, zinc, iron, iodine, potassium, and copper. Take note, though, that before taking any supplements, consult your doctor first, especially if you are taking prescribed medications.
6. Practice proper oral hygiene
In addition to proper brushing and flossing, maintaining good oral hygiene also includes visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings. Early detection of any dental problem is vitally important as this decreases your risk of losing your teeth.
Implementing these six lifestyle changes is crucial to maintaining a healthy smile. Also, bear in mind that even as you practice good oral hygiene and observe a healthy diet, don’t forego visiting your dentist at least twice a year. Nothing beats a dentist’s expertise in ensuring a pearly-white, healthy smile.