There was a good reason that we were all told by our parents to brush our teeth. We knew it would give us a bright smile, prevent cavities and keep our breath smelling fresh. There is more, much more – by keeping our teeth (and mouth) clean and healthy, we actually keep our entire body healthier.
Healthy dental will also ensure we enjoy and appreciate the good food we eat, and digest it properly before passing it on to our body.
To understand how the mouth can affect the body, professionals tell us – “bacteria on our teeth makes our gums prone to infection. Our immune system moves in to attack the infection and the gums become inflamed. Eventually, inflammation spreads to the rest of the body, along with that nasty oral bacteria.”
It is now believed that oral bacterial from the inflammation may be linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, even Alzheimer’s disease.
The good news is that we can all do something about this. To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene every day (just like your mother told you to!) and visit a dentist regularly.
Healthy Smile Tips
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- If you can’t brush, at least rinse with water or munch on celery – great for cleaning teeth.
- Sugar is the worse culprit. If you do eat or drink a sugary treat, try to brush or at least rinse afterwards.
- Floss daily, dental picks are also recommended.
- Eat a healthy diet with foods rich in calcium (e.g. almonds) and limit between-meal snacks.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed.
- Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste.
- Schedule regular dental checkups.
- Make sure your dentist checks your gums as well as your teeth.