You don’t have to brush and floss your teeth — just the ones you want to keep — Author unknown
April means spring is here, a time to enjoy the budding of flowers and other new beginnings. For many of us spring brings renewed energy and interest in our overall health. The mouth is often described as being the gateway to the rest of the body. Maintaining good oral health is an important part of being healthy. We are now learning that poor oral health may be linked to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory illness. Maintaining a healthy mouth and body is all about prevention. Here are a few tips to help you spring forward with a healthy smile. Brush your teeth every day, twice a day. Brushing daily helps to remove plaque that causes tooth decay and gum disease. If you use a power toothbrush, choose one that has a rotation/oscillation action. Fluoride toothpaste will help keep the outer layer of the teeth hard and resistant to the acids that cause tooth decay. Floss your teeth every day, once a day. Flossing daily helps remove plaque from between the teeth. If flossing is difficult, floss holders can make it easier. If you have braces or bridges, interdental brushes are an alternative. Eat and drink well. Foods that are nutritionally healthy are also good for your oral health. Limiting sweet, sticky snack foods and sugary drinks will reduce the number of acid attacks on your teeth. Drink less sugar and more water. Sugary drinks increase the risk of tooth decay. Plain water is the best thirst quencher, especially between meals, and it is also good for your teeth.
Visit your dental professional. Regular check-ups and professional cleanings are the best ways to ensure your mouth is healthy and free of tooth decay and gum disease.
• For infants and children: http://www.interiorhealth.ca/YourHealth/InfantsChildren/Pages/DentalHealth.aspx
• For children and youth: http://www.interiorhealth.ca/YourHealth/ChildrenYouth/Pages/DentalHealth.aspx
• School dental health: http://www.interiorhealth.ca/YourHealth/SchoolHealth/Pages/Dental.aspx
Carol Gulliford is a registered dental hygienist and dental program consultant with Interior Health.