Did you know oral health can impact happiness?
When our teeth and gums are healthy, our body is often healthy and as a result we feel more positive and feel happier. Our outlook on life can be brighter when we pay attention to our overall oral health and care for our gums and teeth.
In celebration of World Oral Health Day we're taking a look at the 5 best steps to healthy teeth.
Problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body. The root of these problems in our mouths is bacteria. Our mouth is teeming with bacteria. An article from the Mayo Clinic states:
Your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and some of these bacteria can cause disease...research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
Now that we know that. A commitment to good oral hygiene can play an important role in our mental health and physical health. These 5 steps to healthy teeth are a solid start in the direction of this commitment.
1. Regular brushing and flossing keep our teeth happy
We all know how important brushing and flossing our teeth are, but why do we skip it? Regular brushing and flossing is the key to maintaining great oral health. When our dentists ask us how often we floss, don't lie. They know. If we don't floss regularly, our teeth will reveal our lie. Often in the form of bleeding.
Did you know that bleeding when flossing is usually a sign that you may need to be flossing more? It seems to go against all that we know. But it's our gum's way of telling us that more flossing, not less, is best. An article on Medical News Today says,
The most common reason a person’s gums bleed is because of plaque or tartar buildup. These substances allow bacteria to grow along the gum line. Good oral hygiene can prevent sensitivity and bleeding.
The good news is we only have to floss once a day and brush twice a day! If you have time to scroll on your phone, you have time to floss. And just think, once you have a regular flossing and brushing routine in place, your teeth and gums will be healthier and this will impact your overall health and happiness.
2. Straightening teeth can lead to healthier teeth
Did you know straightening teeth can help with our overall oral hygiene? Over time crooked teeth can lead to increased plaque build-up that can result in tooth decay, bad breath and even tooth loss. Crooked teeth are also more difficult to keep clean.
Braces and aligners are two common ways to straighten teeth. Braces are generally for more complex cases, however, if you are looking for a teeth straightening solution for mild to moderate teeth spacing and teeth crowding, clear aligners are a more affordable, comfortable and convenient alternative to braces.
Teeth love to move. They are super sneaky. After teeth straightening with braces or clear aligners, teeth can move in the direction of their original position. The best way to avoid teeth moving back to their original position and potentially causing more harm than good is by wearing retainers.
On a positive note, did you know that 83% of Aussies surveyed who have had their teeth straightened say their confidence has increased?* Not only will you feel more confident with straighter teeth, you'll also feel happier and your overall oral hygiene will be impacted in a positive way.
3. Stick to a healthy diet to help teeth
Sugar. We love it. We crave it. And humans consume approximately 171.8 million metric tons of these sweet but dangerous granules in a year. Sugar is everywhere. It's hidden in some of the healthiest foods. It's in everything from salads to soda.
Bacteria in our teeth convert sugar to acid and it's this acid that damages the enamel of our teeth which can then lead to decay. Saliva is what helps wash away the acid. That's why some oral health practitioners recommend chewing sugar-free gum after a meal to help saliva production.
To maintain overall oral health, it's important to limit: foods high in sugar and soda plus starchy foods that can easily become trapped or stuck in our teeth. However, crunchy veggies, such as carrots can help keep our teeth clean during meals. They're like a natural toothbrush. Apples can also help us fight bad breath -- nature's mouthwash.
As this blog post is all about positivity and we wanted to share an article that wonderfully stated that
Chocolate washes off the teeth more quickly than other candies. Dark chocolate (70% cacao) does have some health benefits. Some studies have shown chocolate is not as bad as other sugary treats.
4. Use mouthwash for good oral health
The power of a gargle.
Who would have thought that gargling could have an impact on our happiness? Most oral practitioners recommend using a mouthwash as part of our daily oral health routine. It can be used after brushing and flossing to remove remaining food particles and can also help to control plaque and bacteria. Always check the label for specific instructions.
Choose a mouthwash with chlorohexidine. It's used to control gingivitis and prevent plaque buildup. Another active ingredient to keep an eye out for in mouthwashes is cetylpyridinium chloride that helps fight bacteria.
5. Avoid smoking to help our gums
We know that smoking affects our lungs and can lead to cancer. But did you know it's really bad for our teeth? Smoking not only stains our teeth, but it is a major cause of gum disease. An article on Medical News Today explains:
Smoking harms the body’s immune system, meaning the body is less able to fight off the bacteria that naturally stick to the gums. Once the gums are damaged, smoking makes it harder for the body to heal its tissues.
In a blog post on smoking and drinking with aligners, our head orthodontist said "Smoking with aligners is not recommended, because just as tobacco stains the teeth, it will also stain the aligners and they will lose their aesthetics."
Smoking affects our teeth more than we may know. And it can also cause damage to, not only our lungs but, our gums.
*Online survey conducted in partnership with independent research agency, YouGov
Total N= 1,033 (All respondents aged 18+). Nationally representative versus census data (Gender, Age and Location). Fieldwork conducted 29/010/2021 - 03/11/2021