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National Dental Hygiene Month
Oral health is a key indicator of overall health, wellbeing and quality of life.
Did you know that poor dental health increases the risk of developing heart disease?
When we have gum disease, the bacteria from our mouth can get into the bloodstream. It then produces a protein which causes the blood to thicken. This means that clots are more likely to form, and the heart is not getting the nutrients and oxygen it needs, resulting in increased risk of a heart attack.
Similarly, gum disease can also cause inflammation of the blood vessels, blocking the blood supply to the brain, leading to a potential stroke.
Research has even found that by keeping our teeth and gums healthy we are more likely to reduce our risk of certain diabetes, certain cancers, as well as some forms of dementia.
How to maintain good oral hygiene
There are many healthy lifestyle habits you can use to maintain good oral hygiene and reduce your risk of gum and heart diseases.
Brush your teeth at least twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste. Also brush your tongue; this will help get rid of bacteria too
Change your toothbrush around every three months. Look out for the bristles starting to bend, as this is a good sign you need a new one
Ask your dentist to demonstrate the correct technique for brushing
Floss between your teeth and gums at least once per day
Use mouthwash regularly. Ideally, do not do this directly after brushing as it will wash away the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste left on your teeth. Choose a different time to use mouthwash, such as after lunch.