When it comes to your health, I often tell my patients it is important to treat the whole person. What I mean is that in order to reach optimal health, you need to address all aspect of your health, this includes your mouth. Oral health is a huge factor when it comes to optimizing your health as certain oral conditions can lead to much more serious systemic infection as well as can even affect your heart. This is why I strongly recommend my patients visit their dentist regularly and complete all necessary dental cleanings.
There are however some ways you can help promote your oral health at home. These simple tips can help make protect your mouth from disease causing bacteria.
- Protect your Mouth’s Healthy Bacteria– Did you know that our body has 10 times more bacterial cells than it does human cells?! This is actually a really important aspect of our body’s natural defense mechanism. Most of these bacteria live on our mucus membranes. Mucus membranes line our internal body starting in our mouth. Mucus membranes are filled with bacteria that help protect us from “BAD” disease-causing bacteria. One of the best ways you can protect your body’s healthy bacteria is through your diet. Diet plays a very important role when it comes to your oral health. Research has shown that diets high in refined carbohydrates like sweetened beverages (like soda and even iced tea) and sweet and starchy foods, can actually promote the growth of acid- producing bacteria in your mouth which can lead to an imbalance in your healthy oral environment as well as can lead to tooth decay. Avoiding refined carbohydrates can be a huge benefit to improve your oral health.
- Saliva is your best friend – When it comes to proper oral health, saliva plays a very essential role. It not only helps remove food debris from toth surfaces but also neutralizes excess mouth acidicity and acts as a reservoir for the minerals your teeth so desperately need to build strong healthy enamel. Some of the ways Saliva production can be ecreased is during bouts of excessive stress, certain prescription medications, nasal congestion and allergies, as well as public speaking to name a few. This is why it is critical to make sure to keep your mouth well hydrated throughout the day.
- FLOSS ALREADY– We all know that flossing everyday, twice a day seems impossible and time consuming but there is a lot of data backing why your dentist harps on these recommendations every time you go in for a cleaning. Flossing helps remove excess food debris that can get lodged between teeth and decay. This decay can be a major contributor to bad breath but more importantly it can be a feeding ground for bad bacteria. Making sure you floss on the daily basis is a great way to help promote your oral health.