September is national Oral Health Month which is the perfect time to pay extra attention to your oral hygiene routine. Taking good care of your mouth, teeth and gums can play a role in decreasing your risks of health issues such as a heart attack, stroke and poorly controlled diabetes.
Not practising good oral hygiene can cause bacteraemia – a disease caused by bacteria travelling from the mouth and into the bloodstream. Bacteraemia normally has no symptoms, but the bacteria sometimes accumulates in certain organs or tissues which can lead to serious infections.
Gert Coetzee, Pharmacist and Diet pioneer who founded The Diet Everyone Talks About says that for the abovementioned reasons, it is very important for us to keep our mouths healthy and clean.
Here are 5 foods that help with oral hygiene:
1. Apples: Eating apples regularly helps increase the production of saliva in the mouth while the fiber in them stimulate the gums. The water content and fibrous nature of apples make them great for oral health.
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2. Carrots: Carrots are full of fiber, crunchy and contain water which makes them an excellent choice for dental health. Eating carrots helps boost saliva production in the mouth which helps minimise the risk of getting cavities.
3. Parsley: Apart from being high in antioxidants, parsley is an anti-bacterial agent that can help you maintain dental health. The nutrients present in this herb are considered beneficial for your overall health.
4. Leafy greens: The minerals and vitamins present in leafy greens can help strengthen the enamel and their low-calorie content can prevent any harm to the body in the long run.
5. Cheese and milk: These two foods are great options when it comes to dental health. They are both high in protein and calcium which is required for tooth enamel.
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Below are some tips that will help you protect your oral health:
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily.
- Floss daily.
- Use mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing your teeth or flossing.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles are worn out.
- Schedule regular dental check-ups.
- Have a healthy diet.