7 Lifestyle Changes that Will Improve Your Oral Health

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You brush your teeth twice a day and don’t think much about it. To you, your teeth seem pretty healthy. But then you go to the dentist, and they tell you that your teeth have plaque build-up between all of your teeth and under the gum line.

Good dental health is about more than just brushing your teeth. Though important, brushing twice daily is just scratching the surface of good dental health. There are so many easy ways to change your habits and become a master of your oral health.

From our years of experience here at Valley Ridge Dental Centre, we’ve found the following 7 lifestyle changes can drastically improve your oral and overall health.

1. Flossing

This is something that everyone knows about but few people actually stick with in their daily routine. Flossing doesn’t have to be a time-draining and difficult activity. It can be easily accomplished right after brushing your teeth and doesn’t take much effort. Flossing is something that everyone can and should do.

Let’s go over how to properly floss one’s teeth so that you can get started.

  • First, purchasing the correct floss is important. Do not get a floss that breaks too easily. Instead, make sure that it is not rough enough to damage your gums. You should get a floss that matches the crowding of your teeth.
  • As you are flossing, make sure to get a long enough strand so that you can wrap each end twice around your pointer fingers.
  • Put the floss between two teeth and pull the floss back and forth two or three times to get the gunk out. If it is your first time flossing, you should expect a bit of blood. That’s perfectly normal and will go away with time.
  • Once you are done with one tooth, unwind the floss and rewrap it so that you are using a different part to clean the next spot. Follow this until you have cleaned every tooth.
  • When you are finished flossing, rinse to remove any leftover dislodged food.

2. Tongue Scraping

Another small change that can make all the difference. Tongue scrapping gets what floss and brushing cannot. It focuses solely on your tongue, where the bad bacteria in your mouth likes to hang out. It also gets rid of food debris and dead cells and helps with bad breath.

Tongue scraping is simple. All you need is a small tool that can be found in most dental hygiene sections of department stores, pharmacies, or grocery stores. Using the tool, simply scrape along the top and sides of your tongue. Rinse your mouth when you finish.

Scraping should be done after brushing and flossing as a final cleaning. It makes sure that every section of your mouth has been cleaned fully.

3. Water

Drink more water. This is a general bit of advice that happens to help with oral health as well. Most people do not drink enough water. As dentists, we can tell this right away if a patient is one of these people by their chapped lips. Chapped lips are just one of the many signs of dehydration.

Water is the perfect cleaning agent. Keeping water flowing through your mouth allows the bacteria to be swept away and dealt with. Of course, this isn’t going to deal with all the bacteria, but it is definitely going to help.

The water also helps your body function at its fullest capacity. This means that your immune system is fully set to fight infections that could easily occur in your mouth.

The water also helps your body function at its fullest capacity. This means that your immune system is fully set to fight infections that could easily occur in your mouth.

4. Mineral-Rich Foods

These are foods that contain calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Your teeth rely on these minerals to recover from cavities. These minerals also help with jaw strength and bone support, which helps to prevent mouth infections.

Foods that are rich in these minerals include dark, leafy green vegetables, most fruits, legumes, and other plant-based proteins.

5. Avoid Sugar

Sugar works as a friend of bacteria, allowing it to fester more quickly and build more plaque in your mouth. Sugar is also acidic, so it eats away at the enamel in one’s teeth. Of course, sugar can be difficult to avoid. What’s important is simply to do your best to pass on snacks, desserts, and sugary beverages whenever possible.

It goes without saying that natural sugars are better than processed sugars. Eating fruits is an incredibly healthy way to get your daily sugar intake without ruining your teeth. Be careful though about the acidity of certain fruits, such as citrus, because these can also lead to corrosion of the tooth enamel.

6. Exercise

Does exercise help oral health? Well, in a short answer, yes. Regular exercise prevents gum disease. The relationship between physical activity and gum disease is negatively correlated. The more a person exercises regularly, the less likely they are to develop gum disease.

Maintaining a healthy BMI is beneficial to oral health. It stops you from having health issues like hypertension and diabetes. Weight is known to affect dental health, and being at a healthy weight is a good way to keep your teeth healthy for longer.

7. Quit Smoking

If you are a non-smoker, you can skip this bit. But for those who can’t ditch this habit, smoking leads to higher risks of gum disease since it lowers your immune system functionality. In addition, it affects the appearance of your teeth since the nicotine and tar can lead to dark yellow stains.

Smoking can easily lead to tooth loss since the gums are generally weaker. There is also more plaque on your teeth if you smoke, since there is no oxygen coming to the gums and mouth.

Smoking causes bad breath. It is, unknown to many, one of the leading causes of mouth cancer.

Try At Least One of These 7 Changes

If you make all or even just a few of these lifestyle changes, you’ll be able to regain control of your oral health. Plus, your dentist will be pleasantly surprised at your next appointment. Contact our NW Calgary dental clinic today.

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