Each June, dentists across the country celebrate National Oral Health. Sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA), Oral Health Month reminds us about the importance of good oral hygiene. This includes brushing at least twice daily, flossing, and making regular visits to the dentist. These habits not only keep your mouth healthy but also contribute to better overall health.
Oral & Overall Health: The Connection
Oral health impacts your overall wellbeing. So, this June, take preventative steps to make sure your mouth and the rest of your body remain healthy throughout the year. Compared to other parts of the body, people more often ignore problems in their mouths. For example, bleeding and painful gums, sensitive teeth, and mouth infections can adversely affect quality of life. Nevertheless, people tend to ignore these problems or treat them using over the counter medications. This is inadvisable since oral issues affect the way we speak, eat, and socialize. What’s more, serious diseases including oral cancer affect the oral cavity. In fact, dentists and doctors will diagnose more than 50,000 adults with oral and pharyngeal cancer this year. Unfortunately, these conditions are often diagnosed at a late stage when treatments are less effective. By visiting the dentist on a regular basis, you and he can catch problems early, when there is a better treatment outcome.
Oral Health Protection
Here are several ideas for improving your oral health:
- Regular visits to the dentist (Every 4-6 months)
- Dental hygiene appointments to remove plaque and tarter from teeth below the gums.
- Visits to the dental hygienist, where your teeth will be polished and flossed to remove surface stains. This helps prevent bone loss and cavities.
- Brush and floss your teeth after every meal to eliminate food particles which lodge between teeth and plaque which accumulates on teeth and gums.
- Use a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Brush your teeth and tongue for at least 2 minutes.
- Use antibacterial mouthwashes to reduce plaque formation, infection, and eliminate bad breath.
- Eat healthy unprocessed foods to help the body fight infection.
- Avoid acidic beverages such as orange juice and carbonated beverages, as they wear away enamel which protects teeth.
- Minimize sugar intake. Sugar reacts with oral bacteria, leading to dental problems including cavities and periodontal diseases.
- Brush your teeth after consuming sugary beverages or foods.
- Check your mouth for signs of oral cancer. These include red or white discolorations, bleeding, sores which do not heal, or small thickened areas in the mouth.
- Avoid tobacco products as they cause bad breath, staining of teeth, heart disease, and cancer.
Children’s Oral Health
A child’s primary or baby teeth are important for facial growth and space maintenance for permanent teeth. The ADA recommends that parents or guardians take their child to a children’s dentist or pediatric dentist for evaluation shortly after their first birthday. This will help reduce tooth decay in infants to (aka as bottle decay) which can occur when a baby is put to bed with a sugar containing juice. Rampant decay of the entire dentition can occur. Water containing fluoride is a better choice, as the fluoride may reduce tooth decay by 60%. Thumb sucking or pacifiers can also result in open-bite dental deformities which may require extensive orthodontic treatment to correct.
Oral Health in Teens
For teenagers, wisdom teeth begin to erupt. Crowding can cause serious infections, cysts, and tumors in the jaw. Prevent this with early evaluation and treatment by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. A professional can replace missing teeth utilizing dental implants. Thus, the bone bonds to the surface of the implants and restoration of individual teeth or entire mouth can be accomplished making removable dentures and partials a thing of the past. When properly cared for, implants can last a lifetime.
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.