Happy New Year! Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2016? Many people take the opportunity of a fresh start to improve their health, joining the gym or resolving to eat more healthily. These are all great ways to boost your health, but as dentists we encourage you to remember your dental health too.
Good oral healthcare is obviously important for your teeth and gums, but did you know it’s also vital for your general health?
One of the most common dental health problems in the UK is gum disease, also known as gingivitis. Research has shown that as well as causing gum problems, bad breath and tooth loss, gum disease may also increase your risk of a wide range of other health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Gum disease has also been linked to problems in pregnancy and to dementia.
Looking after your teeth and gums is vital to your overall health. So, what can you do to improve your oral care regime?
Good oral health requires teamwork between you, your dentist and your hygienist. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes a time, as well as regularly using floss or interdental brushes.
By visiting your hygienist regularly (at least every three months) you can ensure you are using the best brushing techniques and products for your individual dental health needs. Your hygienist can also advise you on how your diet affects your dental health – cutting down not just on sugary foods but also on acidic food and drinks can decrease your chances of tooth erosion and plaque build-up.
Your dentist and hygienist can:
- Professionally clean your teeth to remove all plaque and tartar, including hard to reach areas
- Advise you on the best type of toothbrush and brushing techniques to use
- Explain how sugary and acidic foods and drinks can damage your teeth and gums
- Provide advice on special equipment, such as interdental brushes or mouthwashes
- Identify and treat early signs of gum disease or tooth decay.