Our teeth are a window into our overall health. Issues in other parts of our bodies can often manifest in our mouths, and oral problems themselves may lead to full-body complications.
Regularly visiting a dentist and taking care of your teeth is vital to keeping your entire body healthy and functioning. To illustrate the importance of good dental health, here are a few ways of taking care of your teeth that can have positive impacts elsewhere.
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1. Find a Good Orthodontist
You may have a dentist already, but seeing an orthodontist can also be an important part of maintaining healthy teeth.
Orthodontists address the structural problems of your mouth, like misaligned bites and crooked teeth. They’ll work with you to understand the layout of your mouth and find solutions to move teeth back into place. Treatments can include different types of braces (even for adults!), retainers, and jaw surgery.
While you may think fixing crooked teeth is just for the visual aspect of it, there are a number of health and dental problems associated with wonky bites and misplaced teeth. For example, protruding teeth can easily break or otherwise impede your ability to chew. A misaligned bite can cause undue wear and tear on your mouth, wearing down enamel and creating points of stress in your jaw.
Aching jaws can cause debilitating headaches. Skewed bites can make proper eating a chore. Crooked teeth may make you feel self-conscious about smiling. Overall, orthodontists, like the orthodontist Elleven Dental in London employs, can help address problems that have the potential to significantly impact other parts of your life.
2. Cut Back on Coffee, Tea, & Sugary Drinks
As delicious as a hot cup of tea or soft drink may be, most beverages can be harmful to our teeth over time. Non-water drinks can damage our teeth and our bodies in multiple ways.
Dark-pigmented drinks like coffee and tea can leave unattractive stains on our teeth enamel. These stains can build up even with proper brushing techniques. Over time, heavy coffee and tea drinkers may find their teeth to take on a yellow or even brown cast.
Furthermore, sugary drinks can cause damage that isn’t always immediately visible. There are certain kinds of bacteria in our mouths that produce acid after feeding on the sugar we eat. This acid can then lead to tooth decay and a breakdown of the exterior enamel, wearing down teeth permanently.
Of course, reducing empty calories and sugar by cutting out coffee and sweet drinks can do more than just prevent teeth stains and tooth decay! Limiting high-calorie, sugary beverages and instead choosing water better hydrates you and helps keep your weight under control. If you live in an area with fluoridated tap water, drinking water will give your teeth an extra defense boost.
All of this means that cutting out soda, coffee, and other sugary drinks can have positive effects that encompass your entire body.
3. Don’t Smoke
Similar to sugary drinks, the ingredients in cigarettes and cigars can leave stains on our teeth that are difficult and expensive to remove.
Beyond nicotine and tar stains, smoking (or chewing) tobacco will have a hugely detrimental impact on both your oral and overall health. Smoking comes with a whole host of associated health issues, from simple bad breath to a drastically increased risk of oral cancer.
Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen in your blood, which in turns slows your body’s natural healing process. Without oxygen, sores and infections in your mouth and on your body will take longer to heal. That means small problems or infections can easily spiral out of control if your body’s healing processes are diminished.
Quitting smoking will have immediate benefits to the condition of your entire body – and increase your chance of living a long and healthy life.