18 Dec How Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Wellbeing
It is often said that your oral health is a window to your overall health, but have you ever wondered why?
It has been proven that tooth decay and tooth loss is directly correlated with poor diet and nutrition, often exacerbating existing health conditions. Your mouth harbors plenty of bacteria, both good and bad. As your mouth is the entry point to your respiratory and digestive tracts, it is not long before harmful bacteria begin to spread systemically. Strong research suggests that poor oral health and oral infections may lead to heart and lung diseases, diabetes, stroke, and premature births.
Not only does poor oral health affect your physical health, but it may also have ramifications on your psychological, social and financial wellbeing. Our mouth and teeth are heavily used in verbal and non-verbal communication. If we have visibly poor oral hygiene, this can impact our daily interactions at work and home, causing anxiety, impacting self-esteem, and making us avoid social interactions. The flow-on effects of which leave us feeling even more anxious and depressed.
It is clear that good oral health is not only important for our teeth and gums but plays a role in our holistic wellbeing. With this in mind, how can you ensure you keep yourself healthy from mouth to toe?
8 ways to ensure good oral health
- Thoroughly brush your teeth, gums, tongue, cheeks and the roof of your mouth at least twice daily (brush after meals, using a soft toothbrush with a small head).
- Floss daily.
- Use a fluoride-containing toothpaste.
- Ensure a healthy diet, and limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol.
- Drink more water.
- Visit your dentist every six months for a check-up, or more frequently if you are experiencing any concerns.
- Orthodontics also play a role in your oral health. Having straight teeth is about more than just a pretty smile – aligned teeth and jaws make for easier cleaning, and less chance of grinding, cracking, chipping and decay.