Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dentist Fun (OK, that is a lie)

So this week I paid a visit to my dentist. Not exactly the most fun I have ever had. I don't hate the dentist but I don't love it either. It is a necessary evil. I did pretty well as far as my check up was concerned. I had a new set of x-rays done and the dentist did detect a small cavity in between my molars. It wasn't large enough to need to be filled but it is something to keep an eye on. For starters I need to start flossing more than I do.

As parents we often worry more about our children's teeth and oral health than our own but there are significant reasons for us Moms and Dads to make sure we are brushing our pearly whites.

Poor oral health can affect more than just your mouth; it can affect other areas of your body. There is now now research that shows the connection between poor oral health and systemic disease such as diabetes in people of all ages and respiratory diseases particularly among elderly people. There is also new research pointing to links between oral health and other systemic conditions such as heart disease and premature, low birth weight babies.

So what are the most important things you can do to maintain good oral health, to reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease, and to reduce your risk of developing many of the other diseases? Here are a few tips from Health Canada
  1. Remove plaque by brushing your teeth for about 2 minutes at least twice a day and by flossing daily to remove plaque between your teeth.
  2. To promote healthy tooth development in children and to strengthen your teeth, use water, toothpaste or rinses containing fluoride.
  3. Check your teeth, gums and mouth regularly. If you notice any problems with your mouth or teeth, plan to see a dental professional as soon as you can.
  4. Don't smoke or chew tobacco.
  5. Stay active and make healthy food choices according to Canada's Food Guide.
  6. If you have diabetes, heart or respiratory disease, or if you're pregnant, plan to speak to a dental or other health care provider to help design an oral health plan that's right for you.
  7. See a dental professional on a regular basis.

 Like anything else when it comes to good health, it is a marathon not a sprint. It is a process over time. Good oral health is important for every member of the family. Be a good example to your children and get brushing those pearly whites!