For many people a visit to the dentist is a dreaded experience, something that could and should be put off as long as possible
Dental care, however, is more than keeping your pearly whites healthy and your breath smelling fresh. An unhealthy mouth can lead to other ailments.
Oral Hygienist at The Dental Studio, Chané Bronkhorst explains that bacteria can travel from the mouth and into the bloodstream to the rest of the body.
“Heart and blood circulatory system diseases, diabetes, digestive system diseases, difficult pregnancy and low birth weight, lung diseases and osteoporosis have been associated with poor oral health,” she says.
Bronkhorst suggests that patients visit a dentist or oral hygienist at least once every six months.
“Brush your teeth twice a day using a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush with a small, compact head and soft bristles. Brush in circular movements. Replace your toothbrush every three months,” she advises.
“We recommend flossing once a day. There may be some bleeding at first, but this should subside after a few days if tooth cleaning is thorough. Curve the floss around each tooth in a C-shape and gently move it up and down the sides of each tooth, including under the gum line. If bleeding persists, seek advice from a dentist or oral hygienist.”
She also recommends some healthy lifestyle choices to keep teeth in good condition.
“A balanced, healthy diet is important. Sugary snacks should be avoided. Try healthy snacks such as cheese, plain yoghurt, fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, fish, meat, nuts and wholegrain bread.
“A helpful hint is to chew sugar free chewing gum, preferably with xylitol, for about 20 minutes after meals. This stimulates saliva flow which naturally cleanses the mouth and reduces the acid levels, preventing decay,” she says.
Bronkhorst explains that water is the safest drink for teeth. Fruit juices, fizzy drinks and diet drinks contain acid and will damage your teeth. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that can be added to tea or coffee without causing any damage to your teeth.
Visit The Dental Studio at 39 Bendor Drive or give them a call on 015 291 1737 to make an appointment.