The benefits of having healthy teeth are more than smile deep. Research has found links between poor oral health and problems for many other parts of the body, including the brain and heart. So here are five of the latest tips for taking care of your teeth and gums that could be good for the rest of you, too.
Flossing is still a thing
A recent Associated Press report claimed that some research shows that flossing doesn’t do much. But the president of the American Academy of Periodontology disagrees, noting that none of the studies in this report were long enough to prove anything since gum disease takes years to develop. Flossing does help get rid of the harmful bacteria that lead to the acid production that causes cavities.
Interdental brushes could be your thing
Some research suggests that these little wiry, round brushes may be even more effective than floss, and many people prefer them.
Taking care of your gums is key
Several studies have found a link between gum disease and heart disease. Another review discovered that when people slack off on brushing and flossing, they have higher rates of high blood pressure. Other research suggests an association between poor gum health and rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s lung cancer and even premature births. Since gum disease triggers inflammation throughout the body, it can increase the risk of developing illnesses.
Dental anxiety can be treated
Some people have such intense fear of going to the dentist that they don’t. Of course, when you miss regular dental care, you can end up needing much more complicated procedures and risk losing teeth. But a recent study found that most severely anxious dental patients who received cognitive behavioral therapy could actually undergo dental treatment without sedation. Listening to music on headphones can also help patients relax. Let your dentist know about your concerns as well. Call today: (304) 754-8803.
Beware of sneaky foods and drinks that can harm your teeth
- Citrus juices
- Dried fruit (except raisins, which suppress growth of some mouth bacteria)
- Mashed potatoes and potato chips