Oral health is an intricate relationship between self and professional care, oral environment, nutrition, and the health of your entire body. If any one of these are out of wack, you may not be able to make up for it in another area. Understanding this balance can result in much better results.
Why do each of these matter?
Oral Self Care– Self care is often more stressed than other factors because it’s easy for your hygienist to identify and can be immediately addressed. Brushing, flossing, rinsing with antibacterial mouth rinse, fluoride use, etc. However, sometimes unnecessary frustration can occur when problems still exist after good homecare. Technique may need to be addressed or a totally different piece to the puzzle needs attention.
Professional Care— Have a dental cleaning and check up at least twice a year for early prevention! Bacterial plaque and calculus/tarter can become very organized and harmful in a short amount of time even in the cleanest of mouths and should be professionally removed at least twice a year. This process is exaggerated in people with gum disease, dry mouth and other oral diseases. Your dentist may suggest you come in 3-4x a year.
Oral Environment— Research has shown some people are more susceptible to oral disease because of their oral environment. Saliva flow, pH, bacterial flora (the kind of bacteria that tend to hang out in your mouth), and mineral content in saliva are huge players in oral health. Sudden changes in these elements can result in devastatingly fast decay, calculus build up, or gum disease.
Nutrition— Good nutrition for your mouth is much bigger than limiting sugar and soda consumption. Did you know the length of time is actually a much bigger factor than amount consumed?
Here are a few things, out of many, that can cause cavities: Starchy carbs (potatoes, crackers, pretzels), sweet drinks (juice, soda, sweet tea, lemonade), dry foods (rice cakes, oreos), sticky foods (fruit snacks, raisins, syrups, dried fruits), sugars and syrups. Consuming these things will increase your risk of cavities in general but especially if you eat them slowly over time.
Eating a healthy balanced diet will also increase your body’s ability to fight disease and inflammation.
Overall Health Have you ever heard the expression ‘You don’t look a gift horse in the mouth?’ We’ve known for many years that oral health is closely tied to the health of your entire body! Unfortunately, many diseases decrease your ability to heal and fight off disease. This can cause damage in your mouth. The inverse is also true: Good oral health can increase the health of your entire body. Poor oral health has been linked to diabetes, alzheimers, heart disease, and stroke.