Promoting Healthy Oral Bacteria.
Your mouth is home to over 700 different types of bacteria, including healthy ones that have a symbiotic relationship with our body. When the good and bad bacteria in your mouth (also known as your oral microbiome) become unbalanced, oral health issues begin to occur. This includes the development of halitosis, cavities, and gum disease.
A healthy oral microbiome also partly relies on our gut microbiome as both of these zones are the largest, most diverse areas within our body. By taking care of our teeth as well as our gut, we can maintain a healthy microbiome throughout.
Here are 6 ways you can do just that.
1. Prioritize your oral hygiene routine.
Reducing the number of bad bacteria present in your mouth naturally allows the good bacteria to prosper. Practicing great oral hygiene at home will help you keep that ideal balance.
Start off with the basics. Be sure you brush your teeth twice daily, and don’t forget to floss before your bedtime brushing. No matter how tired you are, never skip your nightly brushing session. Going to bed with food debris in your teeth creates a feast for bad bacteria!
A few other things you can do are switch to use a water flosser in place of traditional dental floss and consider investing in a powered toothbrush for a more effective cleaning experience.
2. Visit your dentist every six months.
Even the most fastidious at-home routine is not a replacement for professional dental care. In addition to prioritizing your oral hygiene routine, you want to make time to see your dentist at least every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning.
Your biannual checkup gives your dentist a chance to evaluate your oral health and, most importantly, catch those early signs of trouble. Problems like tooth decay and gingivitis often aren’t apparent to you until damage has already occurred. This is why checkups are vital for preventive and proactive dental care.
As for your biannual dental cleaning, your hygienist removes every speck of plaque and hardened tartar, or calculus, hidden away in your smile that you can’t remove with a toothbrush. While great brushing and flossing habits keep plaque minimized, they don’t prevent buildup entirely.
3. Reduce processed foods in your diet.
Processed foods are convenient, but they’re generally less healthy. Heavily processed foods are often high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and sodium. You might have even noticed that when you eat a diet heavy in processed foods, tummy trouble tends to begin. This is your body’s way of saying, “Hey! Our gut microbiome is struggling!.”
There’s nothing wrong with grabbing fast food on busy days or having a store-bought snack you love, but making the effort to base most meals around whole, unprocessed foods yields incredible health benefits. Not only will your gut be happy but your oral microbiome will also thank you with fewer cavities, reduced risk of gum disease, and fresh breath.
4. Diversify your meals and snacks.
Meal prepping during the week can really help cut down on spontaneous unhealthy meals and processed foods, but be cautious of your staple diet becoming too monotonous. When you repeatedly eat the same exact meals and snacks, even if they are relatively healthy, it can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies over time as well as harm your healthy gut bacteria.
Look for ways to add more variety to your diet. Try a new vegetable you don’t normally eat. Swap out your usual protein source for different meat or a vegetable protein source. Treat yourself to an exotic fruit snack. Keeping your diet diversified makes healthy eating exciting and directly benefits your overall nutrition intake and good bacteria balance.
5. Add more probiotics to your diet.
In addition to protecting your existing good bacteria, you can boost your gut health by introducing new good bacteria with probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are safe and effective at recalibrating unbalanced bacteria.
There are two different ways of adding probiotics to your diet. You can take a probiotic supplement, or you can eat healthy foods that contain natural probiotics. If you’ve recently been on antibiotics or feel as though your gut biome is lacking in healthy bacteria, it’s a great idea to do both.
Foods and beverages naturally rich in probiotics include yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, kimchi, tofu, kombucha, and pickled vegetables.
6. Protect your mental health.
There is a symbiotic relationship between your mental health and your microbiome, specifically within your gut. An unbalanced gut microbiome may spur anxiety and impact depression. Similarly, dealing with high levels of stress on a daily basis can also harm your gut microbiome.
Be aware of your mental health, especially when you notice that stress is taking a toll. Eliminate stress triggers as much as possible and take self-care seriously to shake off the stress you can’t avoid. If you feel like you’re really struggling, reach out for professional help to learn tools and techniques you can use in your daily life.
Ada Smile Place will help you maintain a healthy oral microbiome.
Your oral microbiome has a symbiotic relationship with your gut biome. By taking care of both of these areas of your body, your overall health will greatly improve.
To schedule an appointment and learn more about your oral microbiome, please call our office or use this online form.