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Cultivating Well-Cared Teeth for a Lifetime

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Your teeth and gums are essential to your ability to eat, speak, smile and express emotions. They also provide clues about your general health and well-being, and medical research has found links between common oral diseases (like cavities and gum disease) and serious general health problems like heart disease and diabetes.

The good news is that oral health issues can be prevented or treated with regular preventive dental care. However, many people don’t get the care they need. This is often because they can’t afford it. Other factors may include not having a dentist, not knowing what to do if they have a toothache or not feeling comfortable going to the dentist. State and federal laws and policies can help address these barriers by lowering the cost of dental care, making sure people have a dental plan or are connected with one, and ensuring that there is access to a dentist when they need one.

In addition, there are a variety of personal habits that can improve oral health and reduce the risk of dental disease and overall health issues. These include brushing and flossing daily, not smoking, eating a balanced diet that includes leafy vegetables, dairy products and lean protein, drinking lots of water to stay hydrated, avoiding sugary foods and drinks and getting regular dental checkups. Starting these habits early in life is key to a lifetime of good oral health.

A new definition of oral health and a framework for action were approved by the FDI World Dental Federation General Assembly in September 2016. The new definition and framework emphasize that, while important, the condition of teeth and gums does not occur in isolation from the rest of the body; rather, it is embedded in the social determinants of health. They were developed through a collaborative process with patients, practicing dentists, academicians, researchers, politicians, third-party payers and industry partners.

Maintaining a good oral health routine is a commitment that lasts a lifetime. The small, intentional choices we make in the name of good oral health can have a significant impact on our overall well-being and contribute to a long, happy life. By establishing a solid oral hygiene routine and making regular visits to the dentist, you can achieve a healthy smile for life. If you would like to learn more about how to promote and maintain optimal oral health, contact a dentist in Torrance to schedule a consultation today.

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