In the Pro: World Oral Health Day with Dr Petya Chaprazova
Yes, there is a whole day dedicated to your mouth and we have Dr Petya Chaprazova to tell us all about how we can look after ours...
Every 20th of March, World Oral Health Day raises awareness of the devastating impacts of oral diseases on individuals and economies across the globe. Oral diseases can be incredibly isolating, painful, and threatening to other serious health issues, so ensuring everyone has the tools and knowledge to look after their own oral health is incredibly important. We spoke to Dentist Dr. Petya Chaprazova from Dental Art about what we need to know in order to look after our own oral health.
Top 5 things we should be doing daily to take care of our oral health
The first three are quite simple – floss, brush your teeth and use mouthwash at least twice a day. Maintaining a proper daily oral health routine will go a long way and help you maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Another thing to do is to ensure a proper diet. Sugary and acidic foods and drinks harm your teeth enamel, so cutting down on your daily consumption of sweets, fizzy drinks, etc., will help your teeth maintain their strength.
Try to drink water in between your meals to wash away any bacteria that has built up in your mouth. Of course, drink the recommended daily amount of water, but maybe reserve a gulp or two for after eating a meal to wash away any excess food and bacteria.
What should we be looking for in dental products, i.e mouthwash & toothpaste?
When it comes to toothpaste, the most important ingredient to look for is fluoride. 1,000 to 1,500 parts per million fluoride is a good level to look for and this is the typical strength of a regular toothpaste. All else is up to personal preference and dentist's prescription.
There are several types of dental floss, each with their own purpose. I would suggest consulting your dentist for the appropriate choice of dental floss for you, as each person’s dental situation is unique. For example, people with small gaps between their teeth would benefit from using flosses with wax as it slides in easier.
Mouthwashes also vary, as some are more focused on dealing with a particular dental issue – e.g., bad breath, gingivitis and gum disease etc. However, any standard rinsing solution that has been approved by British certified dental health associations will be a good place to start.
What foods and drinks are good for our oral health?
Oh, there are lots of foods and drinks that are great for your dental health!
Dark coloured berries are great as they contain a natural compound know as polyphenol. This compound helps reduce the risk of gum diseases, tooth decay and plaque.
Your leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach and kale contain a lot of calcium, folic acid and other important vitamins and minerals that boost the strength of your gums and teeth.
Green tea is great too but needs to be consumed in moderation. It does contain an antioxidant called catechins that help protect your gums from periodontal disease-causing bacteria, however, green tea also stains your teeth a lot more than coffee - so moderation is key!
Nuts contain calcium and vitamin D which improves the strength of teeth enamel and gums. Also chewing on a variety of nuts stimulates saliva production that helps wash away the bad bacteria in your mouth.
These are just some of the foods that you can introduce in your diet to improve not only your oral health, but your general health as well.
Why is looking after our oral health good for our overall well-being?
Several dental issues and diseases can have long-term effects on a person’s general health and well-being. For example, people with periodontal (gum) diseases are 2 to 3 times more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or other heart related diseases.
Leaving damaged or missing teeth untreated for longer periods of time can cause your jawbone structure to change, that can lead to your face to look aged with drooping cheeks, smile and wrinkles etc.
Your smile is also one of the key elements of your overall impression. Many people that have dental issues suffer from a lack of confidence and unfortunately mental health problems too. That is why it is important to look after your oral health and consult your dentist with any issues that arise and treat them as soon as possible.
Your 'nutshell' advice...
Floss, brush, rinse and visit your dentist regularly! Now more than ever it is important to maintain proper oral health. With this unfortunate and challenging period we are living through and the limited possibility to leave our homes, it’s actually a good time to make sure you don’t give up on your oral health and use the time to improve your oral hygiene.
To hear more from Dr Petya Chaprazova, check out Dental Art here.
To learn more about World Oral Health Day 2021, head to their website.