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We have all been made aware of the importance of a healthy gut flora, but did you know that your mouth has its own unique microbiome which is just as important?
Oral health is essential to your overall health. However, for many of us, our oral health practices could use a little TLC.
It is estimated that up to 47 percent of adults have some form of gum disease, and the associated risks are staggering. Research shows there are troubling links between gum disease and heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and even pneumonia.
Recent studies have also placed a link between oral health and COVID-19 patient outcomes. in an international study led by McGill researcher, gum disease was associated with increased rates of complications, hospitalization and death in patients with severe cases of the virus.
So, needless to say, your oral health deserves attention. To improve your oral health, check out these five dental hygiene tips and tricks.
don’t forget your tongue
One part of your oral health that you are unknowingly neglecting is your tongue. A person can have up to 700 species of bacteria in their mouth, and while some germs are beneficial, others can cause problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Bacteria can easily accumulate in the crevices of your tongue, so investing in a tongue scraper is beneficial. In addition to brushing and flossing, a . to use tongue scraper can do improve bad breath And remove bacteria More effectively than brushing alone.
brush your teeth
An old question: How often do you need to brush your teeth? Plaque begins to build up between four and 12 hours after brushing your teeth, so two to three times a day is optimal, depending on your schedule.
Additionally, in a study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers found that individuals with poor oral hygiene had an increased risk of heart disease compared to those who brushed twice a day.
With regards to toothbrushes, the electric is king. In fact, recent study found that users had 20 percent less plaque and 50 percent less bleeding when using electric toothbrush compared to those with manual toothbrushes.
Tip: Remember to replace brush heads every three to four months to avoid bacteria build-up.
Did you know that some dental floss contains chemicals? Anti- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are chemicals that have their roots in Teflon and can be found in everything from waterproof raincoats and cookware to some dental floss.
According to environmental working group, PFAS “makes up in our bodies and never breaks down in the environment. Very small doses of PFAS have been linked to cancer, damage to the reproductive and immune systems, and other diseases.”
While the science is still out on whether the PFAS in dental floss are harmful, an eco-friendly floss is a good idea for those who want to reduce the risk altogether.
Try Oil Pulling
Oil pulling has been used for centuries as a way to clean teeth and gums, and while there is still research to be done, millions of people swear by it. If you’re interested in trying a natural technique, it’s important to choose what type of oil you’re using.
However, research is still limited, and the American Dental Association says that brushing and flossing are still the most important oral health measures you can take. Therefore, think of oil pulling as an extension of your dental routine rather than its star player.
Not all mouthwashes are created equal
If the thought of oil pulling turns you off, a good old saltwater wash might just do the trick. Salt water has been shown to reduce inflammation and promote a balanced oral pH, which is great for your microbiome.
While traditional mouthwashes can be plentiful at the grocery store, the alcohol in some formulas can dry out your mouth and, ironically, cause bad breath. However, if you need a minty freshness after washing, essential oil gumdrops Might be what you’re looking for.
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