Last month was Mouth Cancer Action Month and whilst the campaign created a lot of buzz around maintaining good oral hygiene, it’s important that the lessons learnt in November stay with us all year round. Besides helping to prevent bad breath and gum disease, good oral health can also help your body defend itself against viruses and diseases, as well as prevent heart disease and other serious health conditions. Practicing good oral hygiene is simple and straightforward and will soon become a daily habit when done correctly, so take inspiration from Mouth Cancer Action Month and start taking care of your oral health.
Why maintaining oral health is important
Having healthy teeth and gums has both aesthetic benefits and health benefits. Whilst of course, clean, white teeth and fresh breath are attractive, taking care of your teeth and gum health can also have many benefits for your overall health. Gum disease can usually be avoided by maintaining good oral hygiene, but if you were to suffer from it, gum disease could lead to a stroke, heart attack, premature labour and other conditions.
Whilst oral health is a good measure of your overall health, your teeth and gums can also be key identifiers of other diseases such as HIV and diabetes. This is why it’s even more vital to keep your mouth healthy so you can spot any warning signs.
How to maintain good oral hygiene
There are many ways in which you can maintain good oral hygiene, including:
- Brushing your teeth regularly as well as flossing once a day will help keep your mouth clean and remove any traces of food eaten during the day.
- A deeper clean using interdental sticks can help to clean harder to reach areas of your teeth and mouth to ensure a more thorough removal of debris and plaque.
- Avoid sugary drinks and foods to avoid sugar build up on the surface of the teeth.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash to help prevent bad breath and to maintain healthy gums. Your dentist may recommend that you use a fluoride based mouthwash to further boost your oral health.
- Brush your tongue using a tongue scraper or brush to eliminate any foods and bacteria which may be there.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption and stop smoking as these are key causes of mouth and other cancers.
- Book regular appointments with your dentist for a check-up, as well as an appointment with the hygienist for a more thorough removal of plaque.
You should also make sure that you teach your children good oral health to ensure that they practice good habits through to their adult lives.
East Berkshire Primary Care Out-of-Hours Dental Service
If you suffer a dental emergency, it is important that you seek assistance as soon as possible. East Berkshire Primary Care offers an out-of-hours dental service to help provide emergency dental assistance outside of normal practice hours and is available:
Monday – Friday:
10:00 – 12:00
16:00 – 18:00
18:30 – 22:00
Saturdays, Sundays, Bank Holidays:
09:00 – 17:00
For more information on out-of-hours dental services, click here to be taken to the relevant website page. Remember that good oral health is essential for overall health and is simple to maintain when practised regularly. If you have any concerns about your oral health, don’t wait until your next check-up. Book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.