Why we need to take oral health more seriously

Why we need to take oral health more seriously

When it comes to oral health, there’s a common misconception that teeth are less important than other elements of our health. But numerous studies have shown that poor oral hygiene and inflammation can cause things like heart disease, stroke, type two diabetes and inflammation within the body [1].

Oral inflammation comes from plaque on the teeth, which builds up and houses billions of bacteria that can wreak havoc on our gums and overall health. Yet a quarter of adults admit to only brushing their teeth once a day [2] and seven per cent pf people never visit the dentist at all [3]. Around £6 billion is spent on dental treatment in the UK, which is broadly in line with the cost of NHS cancer services [4].

It’s not just adults that are failing to take their own oral health seriously either, children seem to be suffering too. Every year, over 40,000 children and young people are having rotten teeth extracted in hospital [5] and the number of children aged four and under having tooth extractions in hospital has risen by over a quarter over the last decade [6].

So, what can we do to turn these figures around?

  1. Brush at least twice a day and remember to floss!

It might seem simple, but brushing your teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes each time, can help reduce plaque and bacteria in your mouth. It takes around 40 minutes for the mouth the neutralise the acid caused by eating and drinking, so it’s best to wait at least an hour after consumption to brush your teeth.

  1. Floss or use interdental brushes

After you’ve finished, don’t forget to floss or use interdental brushes to get any food debris out from between your teeth. If you don’t remove pieces of food, they can be a breeding ground for bacteria and cause gingivitis and other gum infections.

  1. Steer clear of sugary foods and drinks

While most of us know that sweets and fizzy drinks are bad for our teeth, there are other suspects that you might not think about. Fruit contains a fair amount of sugar, and like all sugary foods, can cause dental problems. If you do eat or drink something sugary, including fresh and dried fruit and smoothies, we advise brushing your teeth within 30 minutes of consumption.

  1. Stop smoking

The health implications of smoking are widely known, but did you also know that it can cause gum disease, tooth loss and even oral cancer? Not only that, but from a cosmetic dentistry perspective it can stain your teeth and make them look dirty.

  1. Prevention is better than the cure

We don’t think you should wait until you have a problem to see your dentist. Going every six months or so can help your dentist spot any potential problems and ensure that your teeth are in good condition. It will also mean that he or she can check your overall oral health, giving an assessment of your teeth, gums and surrounding soft tissues.

At Dentalia, we take a preventative approach to dentistry and will work with you to get your oral health in tip top shape. Whether you and your family need a dental health check, hygienist services, extractions, or restorative dentistry, we can help. To book in or find out more, call us today on: 01256 353033.

 

 

 

 

[1] http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/healthy-teeth-healthy-heart#1

[2] http://www.nationalsmilemonth.org/facts-figures/

[3] https://www.raconteur.net/healthcare/why-the-uk-public-need-to-take-dental-health-more-seriously

[4] https://www.raconteur.net/healthcare/why-the-uk-public-need-to-take-dental-health-more-seriously

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/11/40000-children-rotten-teeth-taken-out-hospital-each-year

[6] http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/tooth-decay-teeth-remove-children-hospitalised-numbers-up-10-years-quarter-25-per-cent-a7640031.html

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