The World Health Organization defines oral health as “a state of being free from chronic mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral infection and sores, gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and other diseases and disorders that limit an individual’s capacity in biting, chewing, smiling, speaking, and psychosocial wellbeing”.
The mouth is the gateway through which food gets into our bodies, hence utmost care must be taken to see its good health.
Here are tips on how to ensure optimal Oral Health!
A – Avoid unhealthy snacks, drinks and habits – it is advised to avoid sugary and acidic drinks, snacks, smoking and tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption.
The consumption of sugary drinks and snacks encourage plaque formation
The consumption of acidic drinks can damage the tooth enamel
Smoking and use of tobacco cause stains in the teeth and can cause a lack of oxygen in your bloodstream, causing infected gums unable to heal properly
Heavy drinkers are also more likely to get gum disease and mouth sores and this is the second most common risk factor for oral cancer
B – Brush your teeth – it is important to brush your teeth at least twice daily – when you wake up and before you go to bed with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Fluoride is a natural mineral that can strengthen teeth and help to prevent tooth decay. The use of mouthwash is also recommended after brushing your teeth. It is also important to replace your toothbrush every three (3) months
C – Clean your teeth – daily with dental floss. Flossing can help remove plaque and food particles in places where toothbrushes do not easily reach.
D – Dental checkups – it is important to have checkups with a dentist at least twice a year. Regular trips to the dentist can catch potential problems before they become bigger and more expensive to treat.
E – Eat healthily – It is important to eat nutritious and balanced meals. There are many foods that help boost our oral health. Some of these foods include apples, celery, eggs, bell peppers and beans. It is also important to drink more water. Water helps wash away food particles and keeps your saliva levels high. Saliva is actually your mouth’s best defence against tooth decay because it contains proteins and minerals that naturally fight plaque.