How To Promote A Healthy Mouth

You use it everyday without a second thought. It enables you to speak, to eat, to drink, and even to kiss. Your mouth is a very important part of your daily life, but it also plays an important role in your overall health. Let’s examine some ways that you can improve and maintain your oral health.How to Promote a Healthy Mouth

What’s In Your Mouth

Your mouth is host to a variety of bacteria, good and bad. Your good oral bacteria exist in order to fight against disease-carrying germs that enter your body by way of your mouth. On the other hand, the bad bacteria in your mouth eat away at tooth enamel and gums. Left unchecked, these bad bacteria will lead to numerous oral maladies, such as gingivitis, periodontal disease, and tooth decay.

In addition to cosmetic damage, there are even more serious ways that these ailments can affect your health. Studies have shown that gingivitis and periodontal disease can lead to such sobering conditions as heart disease and stroke. When an overgrowth of bad bacteria leads to infection in your teeth and gums, your body’s first line of defense is inflammation (swelling). If this continues over a long period of time, it can affect the bloodstream and weaken the blood vessels in the heart and brain, causing the aforementioned conditions.

In view of such serious risks, it is important to take your oral health seriously. Don’t leave your dental issues unresolved. Whether you are concerned about a current problem, or you want to avoid future issues, there are things you can do right now. Here are a few suggestions.

Eat This…

  • Fiber rich fruits and vegetables. Foods high in fiber have a cleaning effect in your mouth. When you eat high fiber foods, you automatically chew more. You also produce more saliva, which naturally fights germs. As you chew, you’re using the fibrous food to scrub your teeth and swish that cleansing saliva around in your mouth.
  • Milk, dairy, and cheese. Cheese encourages saliva production. Also, the calcium in these dairy products helps to replenish the minerals that may have been lost due to poor diet choices.
  • Green and black tea. These teas contain polyphenols, which interact with plaque bacteria. Polyphenols either kill or suppress bacteria, preventing them from growing or producing tooth-decaying acid.
  • Sugar-free chewing gum. Gum causes your mouth to produce more saliva, which fights bacterial growth. It also helps to remove any food particles in and around your teeth.

Avoid This…

  • Sticky candies and sweets. The added sugars found in candy feed the bacteria in your mouth, which break it down into acids that also eat away at your tooth enamel. This, added to the fact that most candies will stick to your teeth long after you’ve finished eating, makes for a dangerous combination.
  • Starchy foods. Foods like potato chips and soft breads can easily get stuck in your teeth. Once there, these starches make the perfect breeding ground for bacterial growth. While these starchy foods are clinging to your teeth, they are the perfect food for oral bacteria, and over time they become acidic and eat away at your tooth enamel.
  • Anything causing dry mouth. As noted before, saliva is the best germ-fighting agent you have. When you decrease your saliva, bad bacteria are more likely to grow. Alcohol and certain medications are common culprits causing dry mouth. If you suspect medications are doing this, discuss the problem with your dentist.
  • Carbonated soft drinks. A can of soda, on average, contains 40 grams of sugar. This, combined with phosphoric and citric acids, is a recipe for tooth erosion.

 Take Care of Your Mouth

In order to ensure that your teeth stay healthy, there are a few things that you can do.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure that your toothbrush is the right size to fit into all corners of your mouth.
  • Change your toothbrush every three to four months. You don’t want to imagine what can accumulate on it! Plus, you want fresh, strong bristles to give your teeth a thorough cleaning.
  • Brush your tongue. Yes, bacteria can grow there, too.
  • Floss daily. You want to get into those crevices that your toothbrush can’t reach.

Obviously, your mouth plays an important part in your well-being. Have more than just a pretty smile. Rest easy knowing that your mouth is healthy and won’t cause you any problems down the road. It starts today!

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