Every year in April for one month, the Canadian Dental Association promotes better oral health to encourage Canadians to have a better quality of life. The importance of good oral hygiene can have a significant impact on not only your overall health, but also your mental and social well-being. Keep yourself informed this month with oral health facts and steps to reduce the risk of oral disease.
The Link Between Poor Dental Health & Chronic Disease
Even though the mouth is one of the most important parts of the body, to eat, drink, and communicate, it is often thought of as something separate. However, increasing research has indicated the connection between poor dental health and chronic disease caused by bacteria. Without regular and proper brushing and flossing habits, there is an increased risk of gum disease. This can cause even more serious health problems in areas outside of the mouth:
- the brain (Alzheimer’s Disease),
- the heart (Heart Disease),
- the lungs (Pneumonia),
- in joints (Arthritis),
- the pancreas (Diabetes),
- and the increased likelihood of women giving birth prematurely.
Canadian Dental Association’s 5 Steps to a Healthy Mouth
- Keep Your Mouth Clean
- Brush your teeth and tongue twice a day
- Floss everyday, without flossing you miss 1/3 of your tooth surface
- Wait at least 20-30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth
- Check Your Mouth Regularly
- Look for signs of gum disease:
- Red, shiny, puffy, sore, or sensitive gums
- Bleeding when you brush or floss
- Look for signs of oral cancer:
- Bleeding or oral sores that don’t heal
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- Small lumps and thickened areas in the mouth
- Look for signs of gum disease:
- Eat Well
- Good nutrition helps build strong teeth and gums
- Avoid foods high in sugar
- Eat healthy snacks like cheese, nuts, vegetables, and non-acidic foods
- See Your Dentist Regularly
- Regular dental exams and professional cleanings can prevent and detect problems before they get worse
- Don’t Smoke or Chew Tobacco
- Smoking and chewing tobacco can cause other complications in the body and the mouth; gum disease, tooth loss, and heart disease.
Arm Yourself with Dental Facts This Month
Why do all this work without understanding the reason behind it? Here are some reasons and statistics why you and your family should maintain a good dental hygiene routine.
- Oral pain can be so bad that it affects the way you eat and speak
- Having a brighter smile, fresher breath, and control over your body can result in better self-confidence positively influencing your ability to socialize
- Every year approximately 3,200 Canadians are diagnosed with oral cancer and 1,050 deaths from oral cancer occur.
- 15%-20% of people worldwide aged 34-44 have severe gum disease
- Children need help brushing their teeth until they are eight years old
Dental Tips and Tricks for a Healthier Lifestyle
Is it possible to lose weight just by brushing your teeth? Wondering how to enjoy your favourite drink without causing too much damage to your teeth? Tackle April with these tips and hacks to get that bright and fresh smile while also increasing your happiness at the same time.
- Consume a lot of soft drinks (even sugar-free ones)? Drink them quickly and use a straw to avoid extended contact with teeth to limit the risk of eroding teeth enamel.
- By brushing your teeth it signals that you have finished eating and it may help with portion control
- Make sure to brush for at least 2 minutes each time, following the contours of your teeth
- Looking for something to chew on? Have a piece of sugarless gum to make your dentist happy
- Get your child involved in preparing their own lunch — take them grocery shopping and guide them into making good choice by giving them healthy food ideas
- Fruits and Vegetables: cut up peppers, celery, or carrots
- Protein: Tuna on whole-wheat bread with lettuce
- Dairy: low-fat yogurt
- Drinks: opt for water, milk, or 100% pure fruit juices
In this oral health month, take the time to schedule your next dental check-up with U Shine Dental. Come and see how you can do more to achieve a better and healthier lifestyle starting with your mouth.