Anyone who’s been reading our blog should know by now that oral health is about way more than just brushing and flossing! Committing to good nutritional habits and regular checks for oral cancer and diabetes are important too. But we don’t always stop and think about how our daily routine can affect something as important as our oral health. Here are 7 steps to changing your oral health habits and turning your oral health around!
1. Know your personal health history. As we’ve discussed here at Dr. Wells’ blog, everyone has different oral health needs at different stages of their lives and depending on other health issues. Children have different oral health needs than adults, and women have different oral health needs than men. The elderly have specific oral health needs compared to other adults. Other health issues can affect your oral health too. Diabetes is a major factor in a person’s oral health. Other things that may affect your oral health include medications you may be taking, whether you’re asthmatic, and certain kinds of allergies.
So the first step to taking charge and having better oral health doesn’t even require you make any lifestyle changes! Just make sure you read about all the side effects of any medications you’re taking and be sure to read up on the specific oral health concerns of others in your lifestyle situation!
2. Use fluoridated oral health products. This is simple and inexpensive. Most cities add fluoride to the water. But you should also use a fluoridated mouthwash or toothpaste. Be sure to watch out for overfluoridation though! Taking in too much fluoride can be as bad for teeth as not receiving enough. If you’re taking in too much fluoride spots will appear on teeth. You can also find out how much fluoride is being put into your city tap water before deciding how much extra fluoride to consume.
3. Commit to a new routine. Okay now it’s time to start talking about major oral health changes. The most important thing you can do to turn your oral health around is to talk to Dr. Wells about your current oral health care routine and make sure you’re on the right track. If you decide you are not achieving the oral health results you need, consider a switch. Perhaps you need to increase flossing or mouthwash. Whatever you and Dr. Wells decide is right, make sure you commit to the new routine. You won’t see results if you only stick to it for a week.
4. Change your diet. If you have a high sugar diet you may notice your oral health isn’t want you want it to be. That’s because sugar is the leading cause of cavities, and a high sugar diet can exacerbate the problem. Just like switching to a new oral health care routine, you must commit when you switch to a new diet. Limit sweets and snacks, especially sodas and other fizzy drinks. The sugar in soda is bad for your teeth, but so are the acids. (See our posts on good nutrition for oral health for information on exactly how you should be changing your diet!)
5. Quit using tobacco. We know this is easier said than done. But if you really are committed to turning your oral health around, one of the most important things is to stop using any tobacco products. This means tobacco in all forms, not just smoking! Check out your local resources for help in quitting.
6. Examine your mouth on a regular basis. This may seem like a strange suggestion, but it can really help and it doesn’t take much effort.You can catch oral health issues early by looking for them yourself. You can’t be at the dentist every day, but you can keep a regular eye out for anything that looks abnormal. Look for drastic changes in coloration, discolored teeth, chipped teeth, swollen gums, and sores or lesions. If you see a change, call Dr. Wells.
7. Visit Dr. Wells often! We all have busy schedules and it can be hard to squeeze things in. But you make time for your regular physician, and you make time to have to have your oil changed. Having your teeth checked is just as important as the health of your entire body. This is the most important thing you can do to change your oral health around for the better. Always make sure you are seeing the dentist on a regular basis. Call Dr. James A. Wells and set up an appointment today!