Prioritizing Dental Care: Easy Tips for a Healthy Dental Routine

May 25, 2023 / General
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Prioritizing Dental Care: Easy Tips for a Healthy Dental Routine

Does your dental routine make the grade, or could you benefit from adding a few additional healthy habits to your dental care regimen? If you've been wondering if you're doing enough to care for your teeth and mouth, discover easy tips to ensure your smile is as healthy as it is beautiful.

Beyond the Smile: Health Benefits of Consistent Dental Care

Dental care goes beyond healthy teeth and gums. Many people don't realize the proven links between oral health and general health and wellness.

According to Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, most oral diseases share common risk factors with chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases, and even cancer. (Those shared risk factors include unhealthy diets high in added sugar, tobacco use, and alcohol use, to name a few.)

Even more concerning, a growing body of evidence suggests periodontal disease — gingivitis and other inflammation and infections of the gums and oral bones — may contribute to diabetes, certain cancers, and cardiovascular disease.

In one study, researchers found that people with gum disease had a 43% higher risk of developing esophageal cancer and a 52% higher risk of developing stomach cancer than those with healthier gums.

When you prioritize dental care, you're not just taking care of the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums. Dental care is a critical component of disease prevention and overall health and wellness.

Prioritizing Dental Care: Easy Tips for a Healthy Dental Routine

Practicing good dental care is surprisingly easy. The key is to remain consistent with the following CDC-recommended actions for better dental care.

Brush and floss your teeth twice daily.

Flossing daily removes food particles that build up where your toothbrush can't reach and the plaque bacteria that build up around teeth and gums. Daily flossing can help reduce the bacteria that leads to bad breath as well as mild cases of gingivitis (gum disease).

Use fluoride. 

Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, get fluoride treatments during dental visits, and drink water that has been treated with fluoride. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and makes teeth more resistant to decay. 

Schedule regular dental check-ups. 

An annual or bi-annual dental check-up can help prevent problems before they occur. During a regular dental check-up, your hygienist will professionally clean your teeth and remove plaque and tartar you can't remove at home through everyday brushing and flossing.  Your dentist will also examine you and search for signs of mouth cancer, cavities, and gum disease. 

Tip: Don't let dental anxiety stop you from scheduling this all-important regular check-up. Discover 10 ways to ease dental anxiety.

Ditch tobacco and reduce sugar and alcohol.

As mentioned above, many factors that contribute to poor oral health also contribute to poor physical health and chronic disease. Tobacco use of any kind and moderate-to-heavy alcohol and sugar consumption can all contribute to gum disease as well as chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancers, and cardiovascular diseases. Stop using tobacco products and scale back on sugar and alcohol consumption to improve your oral and overall health.

May is National Dental Care Month and a great time to get acquainted with the benefits and best practices of a good dental care routine. If you haven't scheduled a dental check-up in a while, let National Dental Care Month be a reminder to call your dentist and get your next visit booked. And don't forget to practice the daily dental care tips that will help your mouth stay healthy and your smile bright. Every month is a great month to prioritize oral health!

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