Good oral health is important for overall wellness and following a solid hygiene routine every day can go a long way in keeping your teeth healthy and strong. Here are a couple factors that can play a role in your oral health and that deserve some extra attention due to their impact on your overall health and well-being.
Start Young for Good Dental Health Later in Life
The best way to get started on this road to a healthy and happy mouth is to start young and never stop. It is very important that children be taught at a very early age the importance of good oral care and teeth cleaning. This is partly because the habits formed in childhood have a better chance of lasting through a lifetime and much of the mouth structure and health will be determined in the first 10-12 years of life. Children need to brush and floss everyday and have regular dental checkups and exams. When they learn to take care of their mouth early it will be easier for them to continue those habits into adulthood when it can matter the most. Good habits really pay off.
Importance of Brushing for Dental Health
Good oral hygiene starts at home with your brushing habits. Keep up with good dental care so you can protect your mouth’s health and your overall health too. Gum infections and periodontal disease can have a huge impact on many other functions of the body. New research suggests that the health of your mouth mirrors the condition of your body as a whole. For example, when your mouth is healthy, chances are your overall health is good, too. On the other hand, if you have poor oral health, you may have other health problems. Research also shows that good oral health may actually prevent certain diseases from occurring (Delta Dental).
Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, is an embarrassing health condition which causes foul oral odors. It is estimated that as many as 30% of people around the world suffer from regular or persistent bad breath. According to several dental experts and research groups, including the Academy of General Dentistry, bad breath odors seem to originate in the mouth, throat, and tonsils in more than 90% of case studies.
With this condition being so prevalent and personal, it is obvious that people want to eliminate their bad breath symptoms but many may not know how doing so because they don’t know what’s causing their bad breath or how to battle their symptoms.The practice of a few simple, self-care techniques can help minimize bad breath:
- Use oral care products regularly—Products like toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash have all been shown to be very effective at fighting off the bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Proper oral care—Keeping up with your oral care is one of the single most important things you can do to help fight off bad breath and keep your breath fresh.
- Combat dry mouth—Though dental experts do not fully understand the connection, it seems that dry mouth can be a major trigger for bad breath and when the mouth stays moist bad breath is not as severe or as prevalent.
- Take a dietary supplement—It has been shown that maintaining a healthy balance of nutrients in the body can help improve oral health. Vitamin C, D, E, and B are thought to be the most beneficial as these vitamins help the body eliminate excess waste and toxins naturally.
- Eat fiber dense foods. —High fiber foods have been shown to actually help prevent halitosis. This is thought to be because of the fiber composition which helps clean the teeth and the low amounts of sugar that won’t stick to teeth as easily. Avoid eating heavily processed foods with refined carbohydrates and high sugar content.
- Drink green and black teas. —These are not only tasty drinks but they also contain polyphenols that can be very helpful in killing bacteria in the mouth and cleaning the gums and tongue. Just remember to rinse after drinking so the tea does not stain your teeth.
- Avoid sodium lauryl sulfate or alcohol. —Avoid any oral hygiene care products which say that they use sodium lauryl sulfate or alcohol in them. This is because these products can cause the mouth to dry out more quickly, which will often cause bad breath and also makes it harder to keep the mouth moist.
- Stop smoking or chewing. —Many studies have shown that smokers who regularly smoke every day and those who chew tobacco regularly are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease and bad breath than those who do not. This is largely due to two factors—smoking causes the mouth to dry out and all tobacco products leave behind strong odors in the mouth, throat, nose, and lungs that can lead to bad breath.
- Clean dentures often. —Practice the same, proper oral care that you would with your original teeth. Just because you have dentures does not mean you are immune to the bacteria that can cause bad breath. Bacteria will make a home anywhere in your mouth, so be sure your dentures get a good cleaning at least once a day.
- Eliminate certain foods from your diet—Bad breath may also be the result of our body’s reaction to certain foods or certain elements of the food you eat. Some studies seem to point to a connection between bad breath and lactose from milk products. So be mindful of the foods you eat.
- Use an oral probiotic—All probiotics are designed to balance out the normal colonies of beneficial bacteria that live in your body. Oral probiotics focus on helping good bacteria in the oral cavity and prevent bad breath from becoming an issue.
Dr. Harold Katz, a bad breath and dental care expert, offers this advice about determining the severity of your bad breath symptoms, “The most common symptoms of bad breath include post-nasal drip, a bitter metallic taste, a white coating on the tongue and thick saliva.
Most symptoms of bad breath depend on the underlying cause. Many individuals who suffer from bad breath because of dry mouth can experience difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, a burning sensation in the mouth or dry eyes. Fever, sore throat, persistent cough and swollen lymph nodes in the neck indicate respiratory tract infections which can also mean bad breath. One of the best ways to find out if you have bad breath is to lick the inside of your wrist, wait five seconds and then take a whiff.”
Bad breath is a common yet devastating medical condition that impacts millions of people around the world, lowers self-esteem, and affects their everyday life and relationships with others. People with chronic or recurring bad breath struggle with many social interactions; others never think twice about. However, it can be challenging to know if you have bad breath since family members and colleagues may simply not walk up to you and tell you. If you know, or strongly suspect, you may suffer from bad breath, follow these tips and try to apply as many of them as possible to your daily routine. You will help combat bad breath and get your life back!
For more information on how to avoid bad breath, visit this article.
If you practice good brushing techniques and habits at home and don’t skip scheduled dental cleanings and checkups, you can be on your way to a healthier smile, and therefore, a healthier, happier, and more confident you!