Most people know they should brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. However, there are additional tips that usually prove beneficial with regard to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Additionally, you may be interested to know that certain physical disorders are linked to tooth and gum problems. Below are some tips you may never have heard of, but that could help prevent gum disease and tooth decay:
Because toothbrushes are used to clean your teeth and keep your gums healthy, it is essential to properly store them to prevent the buildup of bacteria on the bristles. Most Los Angeles dentists recommend storing your toothbrush upright so that excess water can drain away.
Unless you are traveling, you should also refrain from storing your toothbrush in a closed container. This is because airtight containers help all types of bacteria to flourish. Therefore, taking such precautions significantly lowers the amount of bacteria that reenters your mouth the next morning. Toothbrushes should also be discarded after three to four months of use.
You may have heard that chewing gum increases your risk of developing cavities. Of course, with regard to chewing gums that contain sugar, this is certainly true. However, mints and gum that contain a sweetener called xylitol can stop oral bacteria from growing if used on a regular basis. Sugar is a natural food source for bacteria, but xylitol is not. Fortunately, this simple action can help kill off harmful bacteria that cause decay.
Osteoporosis is linked to all kinds of gum and tooth problems. If you develop sudden tooth loss or other dental disorders, you should be checked for osteoporosis. This is because the bacteria from oral infections can also affect bones in other areas of your body.
Diabetes can have a detrimental effect on your gums and teeth. Both low and high blood glucose levels can lead to significant gum disorders. Additionally, infections can escalate, leading to major damage from the destruction of tissue and bone in your jaw and mouth. If you are diabetic, visit your dentist every three months, as opposed to every 6-12 months, as this will prevent minor issues from becoming major ones.
In addition to daily brushing and flossing, it is important to get periodic screenings for oral cancer. Although this type of cancer is somewhat rare, it does occur and early detection is the key to increasing your chances of stopping it in its tracks. Most dentists routinely screen for any signs of oral cancer during regular checkups, and therefore it is important to never skipped your regular cleanings.
Although nothing can prevent certain tooth and gum issues from occurring, following the tips outlined above can lower your risk for many types of dental problems.