It’s easy to forget how your oral health impacts on your general well being. For example, gum disease can be linked to diabetes and heart problems.

If you want to protect your oral health and overall well being, Sherwood Dental – Your Kitchener dentist has three top tips for you on:

  • Maintaining a good routine of oral healthcare at home.
  • Watching what you eat.
  • Wearing a mouthguard for sports.

Importance of Oral Health Hygiene

Because you mouth is the gateway to your body, it’s crucial to brush and floss regularly to keep bacteria-laden plaque and tartar at bay.

Brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, in the morning and just before bedtime, and floss at least once a day. Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing to give your oral health a further boost.

Use a soft-bristled electric or manual toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Angle the brush at 45 degrees towards the gum line. Move the brush back and forth gently, in circular movements over the front, back and biting edge of your teeth.

Flossing will remove food debris trapped between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Be generous with the floss – some people tend to use it conservatively although it’s an inexpensive product. If you use pieces of floss that are too short, your fingers may keep slipping from the line.

Regular brushing and flossing will help to prevent cavities, gum disease and bad breath.

If brushing isn’t possible after a snack or a meal, chew sugar-free gum or rinse with a fluoride mouthwash.

Foods That Are Good for You and Your Smile

Your diet plays a key role in your oral and general health. Choose fruit and vegetables high in vitamin C, rather than food rich in sugars and starches, which create a breeding ground for bacteria in your mouth.

Dairy products such as cheese, yogourt and milk help to fortify bones and neutralize acids produced by oral bacteria, which can erode tooth enamel and gum tissue.

Crunchy vegetables such as celery and carrots will help to remove food particles and plaque that accumulate along the gum line between your teeth. They’re also high in fibre.

Leafy greens such as broccoli and kale are full of minerals and vitamins, particularly vitamin C, which reduces the risk of gum inflammation. Leafy greens also boost levels of saliva, which is good for your gums.

Research suggests that green tea can help to prevent infections. It contains antioxidants called catechins, which are thought to reduce the risk of gum inflammation.

Drinks such as sodas are particularly damaging for teeth because they contain acidic additives and have high levels of sugar.

Protect Your Mouth During Sports

Dental trauma is the most common type of facial injury in sports.  To cushion and protect your teeth and gums, wear a professionally-made, customized mouth-guard whenever you take part in a contact sport. Mouth shields can also prevent neck injuries, jaw fractures and cerebral hemorrhaging.

All sporting activities put participants at risk of oral injuries, but those taking part in contact sports such as hockey, football, martial arts, basketball and boxing are particularly vulnerable.

A mouth-guard custom-fitted by your Kitchener dentist Sherwood Dental will not restrict breathing or speech, will stay in place securely, fit comfortably, be tasteless, and odourless, easy to clean, and resistant to damage.

We can advise you on whether you need a mouth-guard, depending on which sport or sports you play.

A mouth-guard can also help to ease discomfort arising from teeth grinding (bruxism), which most often occurs during sleep.  Common causes of bruxism are stress, anxiety, depression, smoking, sleep disorders, and drinking too much coffee or alcohol.

It’s Never Too Late For Oral Health Improvement

No matter the time of year, it’s never too late to start improving your oral health, which in turn can benefit the rest of your body and make you feel a whole lot better about yourself.

Simple steps such as maintaining a good routine of oral hygiene, eating the right type of foods, and protecting your mouth during sports will definitely put you on the road to improved health.

Once you’ve got your oral health covered, Sherwood Dental offers a range of cosmetic dentistry options – including veneers, inlays and onlays – to make your smile even brighter.