Your Guide to Optimal Oral Health
Begin your journey toward optimal oral health.
If you’ve made the decision to actively pursue a higher level of oral health, congratulations!
When you achieve optimal oral wellness you’ll experience nothing but benefits.
You’ll no longer battle with tooth decay (goodbye toothaches!) and you’ll feel more confident than ever during your dental check-ups. The self-esteem boost that comes with knowing your smile is healthy and bright is another advantage you’ll certainly enjoy.
However, sometimes creating a plan on how to meet your goal for optimal oral health can feel a bit overwhelming at first.
Daily dental care habits are the key to your healthiest smile.
The funny thing about oral wellness is that most people already have an idea of what to do. Brushing twice a day. Flossing. Regular dental appointments. The real obstacle is how to make daily dental care a true habit.
Before we dive into how to make oral health a habit, we’re going to first go over why oral health is so crucial. Understanding the importance of oral health and how it affects your entire body will fuel your motivation to stick with the daily dental care habits you’re trying to form.
The Relationship Between Your Oral Health and Physical Health
Oral health and physical health share a very strong connection that isn’t discussed often enough. This relationship is known as the mouth-body connection.
Your oral health and your physical health are reflections of one another.
The mouth-body connection is a synergistic relationship. Poor oral health leads to poor physical health and vice versa. Research has shown that a number of oral health issues contribute to some very serious health conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases.
When it comes to oral health concerns, tooth decay often takes the spotlight, but it’s periodontal (gum) disease that has the strongest impact on physical health. Chronic inflammation and infection from untreated periodontal disease are linked to inflammation throughout the body. This is the very same inflammatory response that leads to high risks of heart attack and stroke.
Your mental well-being also has a relationship with your oral health.
Studies show that low mental well-being due to mental illness, depression, anxiety, and chronic stress can negatively impact oral wellness. Usually, this impact is directly related. An example of this would be gnashing or grinding your teeth as a response to stress or anxiety. Bruxism and TMJ can cause pain as well as permanent damage to your enamel.
Mental health can also affect oral health in less obvious ways, such as medication causing dry mouth which increases the risk of tooth decay or gum disease. Forgetfulness or a lack of energy can also lead to fewer brushing sessions or dental care appointments.
Designing an At-Home Dental Care Routine That Works for You
An effective at-home dental care routine revolves around three fundamentals—brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.
Brush twice a day for two minutes.
Brush in the morning after breakfast and at night after you’ve had your last meal or snack for the day. When you brush, brush with intention, and be sure to clean each tooth. You might also use your phone’s timer to make sure you’re getting a full two minutes of brushing.
Floss at least once daily.
The ADA recommends you floss at least once daily. You can also floss after big meals or whenever you feel like you have some stuck food. For the best results, floss before brushing to ensure any loosened particles won’t have a chance to linger.
Visit your dentist biannually.
The average adult should visit their dentist every 6 months for a check-up and a cleaning. If you’re recovering from gum disease or are prone to tooth decay for health reasons, you might visit your dentist more often.
Upgrading your hygiene routine.
In addition to these basics, you can also level up your dental care routine by:
- Investing in a powered toothbrush or a water flosser system
- Using a tongue scraper before brushing
- Rinsing with a mouthwash morning and night
- Chewing xylitol sugar-free gum after meals
You can also ask your dentist about elective dentistry services that could positively impact your oral health. For example, pursuing orthodontic care like Invisalign goes beyond being purely cosmetic.
Crowded, crooked teeth are harder to clean and much more prone to developing tooth decay and gum disease. Straightening your teeth will not only give you a more attractive smile but one that’s easier to keep clean and healthy
Two Other Ways You Can Improve Your Overall Oral Health
Eat a nutritious diet.
In addition to keeping an eye on sugar consumption, looking for ways to improve your diet as a whole will benefit your smile. A nutritious varied diet made of whole foods is just as good for your body as for your teeth.
Make self-care a priority.
Lower your stress by practicing self-care on a daily basis. Decompressing from stress and anxiety will ease your mind as well as your body. Lowering your stress levels also raises your immune system which helps you fight off bacteria, including oral bacteria related to gum disease.
If you have questions or need help with your oral health, don’t hesitate to call Tomasik Family Dental.
To schedule an appointment or request a consultation, you can either call our Bee Cave, Texas office, or fill out this easy online form.