What does good oral health mean and how do we maintain it?

What does good oral health mean and how do we maintain it?

It’s National Smile Month (where the charity Oral Health Foundation promotes the importance of good oral health) and so we thought we’d explain a bit more about this campaign.

What does good oral health mean? How do we maintain it and how does it affect our general health?

WHO (The World Health Organisation) states that “Oral health is the state of the mouth, teeth and orofacial structures that enables individuals to perform essential functions such as eating, breathing and speaking, and encompasses psychosocial dimensions such as self-confidence, well-being and the ability to socialize and work without pain, discomfort and embarrassment.”

So basically, it’s the condition of your mouth and your ability to talk, eat, smile and interact in social situations – pretty important right?


What can affect your oral health?

Genetic factors, illness, some medications or even pregnancy can affect your oral health but most dental diseases like gum disease and tooth decay are preventable.

Learning and maintaining good habits from an early age will have the best effect on your oral health so it’s best to introduce children to the dentists at an early age. Take them along to your dental appointments so that fears about visiting the dentist in the future are banished! Educating children about healthy diet and limiting sugar will give them a head start and prevent dental problems occurring.

Maintaining your oral health can be easily achieved with good habits and regular visits to your dentist and hygienist/therapist. There they will give you bespoke hygiene advice to help you clean thoroughly at home with the correct tools for your mouth. With regular visits and good home habits you are less likely to develop long-term issues and costly treatments in the future.

Here are our top tips for maintain your oral health;

  1. Brush at least twice a day (for two minutes) with a fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque. We find electric toothbrushes are best for most people, but any well-maintained brush will do the job!
  2. Before brushing, use some form of interdental cleaning – floss or interdental brushes will loosen any food debris between your teeth. Your therapist or hygienist will be able to advise which interdental cleaning device is best for you and (importantly) instruct you on how to use it to its best effect!
  3. Spit – don’t rinse! We were all brought up to rinse after brushing but really that is the wrong thing to do as it washes away all that lovely fluoride which protects your teeth.
  4. Try to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
  5. Visit your dentist and hygienist regularly – they will determine whether you are best to visit 6 monthly or annually depending on your current health and/or risk factors.


How does oral health affect your general health and well-being?

Poor oral health has been linked with several diseases including heart disease, strokes and diabetes. In addition to this, poot oral health can have a psychological impact – worry about bad breath (halitosis) or embarrassment with the appearance of teeth and self-confidence can hugely affect a person’s mental well-being. By prioritising your oral health, you are inadvertently aiding your overall health and well-being!

If you would like to book an appointment to see one of our lovely (friendly!) dentists, please contact us on 01406 364600 to get booked in – together we can get you orally fit and help you maintain that for life!

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