What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?
At the Emergency Dentist Sydney we got to talking about our habits as children and what we might say to our younger selves. When it comes to dental care and oral hygiene we know now how important it is to begin good habits from a young age. Not everyone is knowledgable on the effects of poor oral hygiene on quality of life in your later years.
Toothache or pain and loss of teeth, resulting in the inability to chew comfortably can lead to malnutrition, weight loss, weakening of the immune system and infection. As we age we notice the obvious stuff like wrinkles and hair loss but we may not be as aware of changes in our teeth and mouths.
We asked ourselves the question, what advice would you give your younger self about oral hygiene and dental care? These are our top responses:
- Don’t smoke, if you do, stop, yuk!
- Stick to the food pyramid when it comes to eating. Eat a variety of food, eat food which is full of vitamins, minerals and fibres and get lots of variety where you can.
- Visit a dentists regularly for checkups, no excuses.
- Learn how to floss properly and do it daily.
- Brush twice daily, regardless of how tired you are at night or how busy you are in the morning.
- Rinse your mouth with water during the day when you’ve eaten processed foods, sweet foods or foods and drinks that can stain the teeth.
- Don’t put off dental problems. If you have concerns make sure you see your Dentist and avoid long-term complications.
You may think it doesn’t really matter, you can just get dentures, veneers, browns or crewed in teeth when you’re older, but this comes at some loss to your long term health.
Well looked after teeth are a reflection of your general health. Retaining your real teeth means better health long term. The American Journal of Public Health reports that ‘chewing with removable dentures is at least 30 to 40 percent less efficient than chewing with natural teeth. Persons with extensive or complete tooth loss are more likely to substitute easier-to chew foods such as those rich in saturated fast and cholesterol for foods high in carotenes, vitamin C and fibre’. Poorly looked after gums also comes with an array of long term side effects.
These are a few of the more common side effects of poor oral health:
- Loss. To the structure of your jaw and face.
- Cardiovascular Disease. Bacteria from inflamed mums and periodontal disease can enter your bloodstream and travel to your arteries in the heart. This can then cause such things as heart attack or stroke resulting in an endocarditis or myocarditis.
- Dementia. Bacteria from gingivitis may enter the brain and can lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Respiratory Infections. The Journal of Periodontology warns gum disease can cause infections in your lungs, including pneumonia. This isn’t always an instant infection but, imagine breathing in bacteria over time from infected teeth and gums.
- Diabetic Complications. Poor oral hygiene can make it harder to control your blood sugar. This can increase the symptoms of diabetes and make them worse.
The #EmergencyDentist Says:
The the beauty of hindsight means we can see how things could be. With the knowledge of what can very well happen, we think sticking to these 7 tips will keep your oral health and your general health kicking strong in to the future.