Keeping your teeth and mouth clean is about more than just brushing your teeth. The choices you make every day can have an effect on the health of your mouth. What you choose to eat and drink has an impact on your oral hygiene. Whether you smoke and even what medications you take can also influence how healthy your teeth and mouth are. If you want to have healthy teeth and gums and to avoid bad breath, your lifestyle makes a difference. It’s also not just about preventing cavities and halitosis. You can also prevent things like gum disease or teeth staining by making the right choices.
Food and Drink Choices
It’s no secret that your diet can affect your oral hygiene and health. For example, we know that a diet high in sugar can encourage bacteria to grow. It’s also best to avoid having too many acidic foods, such as citrus fruits. Both sugar and acid can encourage bacteria to grow in your mouth. Starchy foods can raise acid levels in the mouth too, and can sometimes get stuck in your teeth. What you drink makes a difference too. Sugary drinks should be consumed sparingly, and alcohol can also cause problems. Alcoholic drinks dry out your mouth, which makes it easier for bacteria to thrive.
Smoking and using other tobacco products can cause several problems for you. It can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and even oral cancer. Smoking also stains your teeth, due to the nicotine, and it can give you bad breath. Choosing to smoke makes it harder to care for your oral health and maintain good hygiene. Not only that, but it can have an effect on your health in many other ways. If you want to improve your oral health, cutting out smoking or using other tobacco products should be the first thing you do.
Certain medications can have an effect on your mouth. For example, several medicines you can get over the counter can make your mouth dry. As mentioned before, a dry mouth means that bacteria can multiply more quickly and easily. This can lead to bad breath and tooth decay. Some medications could stain your teeth, such as some types of antibiotic. Other prescribed medications might have unfortunate side effects, such as oral thrush. However, you have to balance a drug’s side effects with its intended purpose. Sometimes, the solution is to change medications but other times it’s to be more vigilant with your oral hygiene.
Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Of course, the routine you keep to look after your teeth, gums, and mouth is important too. You have to make a conscious choice every day to brush, floss and perform other tasks for oral hygiene. If you don’t, you can start to get lazy about looking after your oral health. It can sometimes be confusing if you’re not sure when to brush and what you should be doing. If you’re ever unsure, talk to your dentist or dental hygienist.
It’s important to consider all the choices you make and how they affect oral hygiene and health. It should be something you think about every day.