As most of us are self-isolating or working from home at the moment, here at London Holistic Dental Centre we thought it apt to write a short blog reminding our patients that oral health is still as important as ever. There are two main factors in experiencing better dental health; avoiding the consumption of things which are harmful to your teeth and gums, whilst also maintaining a clean and healthy mouth. So, with that in mind, here are some ways you can experience better oral health during this strange time of self-isolation!
- Say No to Sugar- Sugar is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to oral health issues such as tooth decay or gum disease. Self-isolation can lead to your diet going a bit awry, and grazing on sugary snacks can only harm your teeth in the long run. When you consume sugar, acidic bacteria is produced in the mouth, which strips down the teeth’s enamel. As the enamel forms a protective layer, repeated acid attacks will leave your teeth exposed to decay and disease. We’re not saying you should totally remove sugar from your diet, but in order to give your teeth a fighting chance you should be wary of your sugar intake.
- Stop Smoking- If you’re still smoking, now might be a good time to try and quit. Tobacco consumption not only discolours teeth, but dries out your mouth, disturbing your oral ecosystem through supressing saliva production. Saliva is an essential factor in flushing out bad bacteria from the mouth, and smoking makes it incredibly easy for harmful bacteria to stick to your teeth, causing a lot of harm. In addition, smokers have a much higher chance of contracting oral cancers- 90% of mouth cancer cases are due to smoking, so now is as good a time to kick the habit as any!
- Limit Alcohol Consumption- Along with smoking, excessive alcohol consumption is a big obstacle to overcome if you want a healthy mouth. It can be quite tempting to up your alcohol intake if you’re at home all day, but hear us out: alcohol affects your oral health in the same ways as sugar AND smoking- sugary alcoholic drinks are highly acidic, making it easy for your enamel to be stripped away, leading to sensitivity, tooth decay and potential gum disease. Furthermore, as we all know alcohol can leave you very dehydrated, and this leads to saliva flow being heavily reduced, which is a problem as saliva protects our teeth from decay through the neutralisation of acids- without saliva, our teeth are defenceless against decay. So for the sake of your teeth at this time, try and resist the temptation of alcohol.
- Maintain a Brushing Schedule- Last, but certainly not least, maintaining a good brushing schedule is the most important way that you can experience better dental health during isolation. Brushing and flossing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste will eliminate any bacteria or plaque that has built up overnight or during the day. When used in combination with the previous tips, your mouth will almost definitely be ready for whatever comes its way.
So, there we have it! Your teeth will be thanking you if you stick with this advice, and keeping to routines is an effective way to keep our spirits up during this difficult time- so why not make use of the spare time you may have at the moment so you can come out of self-isolation with your teeth bright and clean!