Every single day we discover another connection between our oral and overall health. Whether you look at the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, and even death; the risk instantly becomes higher when you ignore your dental health.
For the past twenty six years, I have worked on building one of the leading multi-specialty dental practices in the country and I’ve seen a lot of teeth.
One thing I’ve realized is that many people do not realize just how important their dental health is. I’ve created a number of oral health resources to help parents and young adults understand why they need to pay more attention to their mouth, what they put in it, and how seriously they take their oral health.
Top Dental Health Tips from Dr. Kami Hoss
One of the most common misconceptions about dental hygiene is that it strictly focuses on the appearance and health of your mouth. This is entirely not true. Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body and if your dental health is poor, the rest of your health can become poor as well.
For this reason, I provide a number of oral health tips in my dental health books to ensure that everyone from a young age can begin to practice proper dental hygiene.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Make Sure You’re On a Proper Brushing Schedule
Brush your teeth twice a day with nano-hydroxyapatite and/or fluoride toothpaste. Make sure to brush for at least two minutes, and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your gums. Do not brush for 30-60 minutes after eating because your mouth is more acidic during this time.
Don’t Underestimate Flossing
Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and along the gumline. Flossing in many cases is more important than brushing because the food that gets stuck in between your teeth contributes to plaque and decay. In fact, those people who do not floss increase their mortality risk by 30% compared to people who floss daily.
Use Mouthwash Sparingly
Your childs ability to use mouthwash depends on their age and development. It also depends on the type of mouthwash they’re using. Mouthwash is not recommended for children under the age of six because they’re not good at rinsing their mouth without swallowing.
If your child is capable of swishing the mouthwash around and spitting it out, they might be ready – but that still doesn’t mean they need it. A safe and effective mouthwash, however, can be a great complement to daily oral care routine because it can reach parts of the mouth not easily accessed by a toothbrush.
If you’re considering mouthwash, be sure to avoid any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Opt for an alkaline mouthwash (pH above 7) with prebiotics such as inulin and healthy sweeteners such as xylitol and erythritol. .
The average American consumes over 150 pounds of sugar each year. We need to do a better job at reducing our sugar intake if we intend to live a long and healthy life. Avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks because they cause tooth decay.
Don’t Blame Your Ancestors
Even though people commonly blame their ancestors for their oral health problems, only 10% have genetic causes. Turns out, 90% of all cavities are related to the environment or are associated with oral care, which means they are controlled by us. So don’t blame your parents for your cavities!
Understand The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health
A recent study from Harvard University found that men with gum disease had a 63% higher incidence of pancreatic cancer. Another study by a team from both Harvard and Imperial College London looked at health records from 50,000 patients over 21 years of age.
It found that gum disease correlated with a significantly higher risk of several different cancers, including lung (33%), kidney (5%), and blood (30%).
What Makes Dental Hygiene So Important?
This is a question I get a lot. With all the dental hygiene books out there, there’s plenty of misconception. While any oral health resource is a valuable one, you want to make sure you’re getting your information from the right source with the right intention in mind.
I wrote my book on dental health to help parents prevent their children from running into issues later in life. These are irreversible issues that get harder and harder to take care of as your children get older.
Thankfully, there are more dental health resources available to help parents these days. Here is some valuable information on why dental hygiene is important.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Dental hygiene is important for a number of reasons. Good oral hygiene can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems. It can also help improve your overall health.
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that produce acid that attacks your tooth enamel. If the decay is not treated, it can lead to cavities and eventually tooth loss.
Good dental hygiene can help prevent these problems by removing plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing regularly. Mouthwash can also help kill bacteria that cause plaque.
Preventing Gum Disease
When you don’t brush your teeth, plaque can develop. This plaque then hardens into tartar which can only be removed by a dental professional. If it’s not removed, the tarter can cause gum disease.
Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can cause them to become red, swollen, and tender.
The bacteria in plaque and tartar produce toxins that can irritate the gums and cause them to become inflamed. This is called gingivitis, which is the early stage of gum disease.
If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease. Periodontitis can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth and form pockets.
These pockets can become infected and fill with pus. The infection can spread to the bones and tissues that support the teeth, leading to tooth loss.
All of this can be prevented by simple trips to the dentist, regular brushing, and consistent flossing.
Dental Health = Overall Health
Poor dental health can have a number of negative effects on overall health. Following all of the dental hygiene tips I offer in my oral health books can help you live a better quality of life. In fact, it can also help you live longer.
The more missing teeth a person has, the poorer their quality of life, and the higher their risk of premature death. Elderly individuals without any teeth have a 30% higher risk of death compared to those with 20 teeth or more.
Here are some points to chew on about the connection between dental health and overall health:
Oral infections: Poor dental hygiene can lead to the development of oral infections such as cavities, gum disease, and abscesses. These infections can cause pain, swelling, and discomfort, and if left untreated, they can spread to other parts of the body, potentially leading to more serious health problems.
Cardiovascular disease: The risk of heart attack is 28% higher in people who have gum disease than in those without. Bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream and contribute to the formation of plaque in the arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Chronic inflammation of the mouth is also linked to heart disease.
Respiratory infections: Poor dental health has also been linked to an increased risk of respiratory infections such as pneumonia. Bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs and cause infections.
Diabetes: Poor dental health has also been linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes. The risk of diabetes is 69% higher in people with moderate or severe periodontitis than in those without. Gum disease has been shown to make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, and people with diabetes are also more prone to developing gum disease.
Pregnancy complications: Poor dental health has also been linked to an increased risk of complications during pregnancy, including preterm birth and low birth weight. The risk of gestational diabetes (or pregnancy diabetes) is 2.8 times higher in women with periodontal disease than in those without. What’s more, the presence of periodontitis is also associated with a 2.2-fold higher risk of developing pre-eclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy complication.
Increased Self-Esteem and Confidence
One of the reasons I like to educate parents on the importance of dental health is that I want to see their children avoid the struggles of being a kid with bad teeth. It can do a number on their self-esteem and can make them feel less confident.
Poor dental health can affect the appearance of the teeth and mouth, which can make kids and adults feel self-conscious. For example, yellowed or missing teeth, or overgrown or bleeding gums can be unpleasant to look at and may make people feel self-conscious about their appearance.
This can have a negative impact on their relationships as they progress through puberty which can lead to long-term issues like depression.
Improper dental habits can also affect social interactions, which can lead to low self-esteem. For example, people with poor dental health may feel self-conscious about smiling or speaking in front of others, which can make them feel anxious and excluded from group activities. If they’re nervous to talk they might prefer to hide away and avoid social interactions.
Lack of dental health can even make it difficult to eat certain foods, which can lead to low self-esteem. Kids with bad dental health may be unable to eat crunchy or chewy foods, which can limit their food choices and make them feel nervous about their eating habits.
Teaching your children to maintain proper dental hygiene will ensure they never encounter these issues. Remember how important it is to lead by example.
Don’t worry if your children think you’re pestering them or being too hard on them about their teeth. They’ll thank you later on. It’s never too early to start purchasing dental health books for preschoolers to get them started off on the right foot.
How To Get My Kids to Enjoy Brushing
This is another question I get asked all the time. How do I get my kids to brush their teeth? How do I get my kids to brush their teeth for the right amount of time as well?
First, remember that kids love routines so the more you can create a consistent practice, the better chance you have of getting them to enjoy it. Even if they don’t enjoy it, they won’t fight you about it.
Establish a consistent bedtime routine that includes brushing your teeth. This will help your kids remember to brush their teeth every night.
Kids often model their behavior after their parents, so be sure to brush your teeth regularly and consistently to set a good example for your kids to follow.
Did you know that 5-year-olds brush only 25% of their teeth? Even 11-year-olds brush only 50% of them. It’s crucial that you pay attention when they’re brushing and be sure to patiently coach them in the right direction.
Children brush 73% longer with music, so get a musical toothbrush. They’ll enjoy listening to the music every time they brush and if the music is timed, it will ensure they always brush for the right amount of time.
There are a number of oral health resources in this article but none are more powerful than everything contained in my new book, “If Your Mouth Could Talk.”
The goal of this oral hygiene book is to help teach people about the important connection between dental health and overall health. The dental hygiene resources in this book are so valuable. Learning these things now can help increase your lifespan, improve your quality of life, and help prevent your children from running into issues as they get older.
There are many books written by dentists out on the market but I truly believe what I’ve included in this book will open your eyes and make you truly see why dental health is so important.
I want to help everyone but I can only do that if you purchase the book. Order your copy today!