Of all the healthy habits that we kind of do on autopilot, looking after our teeth must be one of the most automatic. After all, brushing is something that we do late at night be fore bed when we're sleepy, and agin in the morning when we may also be a little bit half asleep, I know I am every day between the alarm going off and being halfway to work!
Toothbrushing is of course only part of dental health - along with making sure to avoid too many sugary foods. It's not actually the sugar in sugary foods that causes teeth to rot but the acid produced when bacteria feed on the sugar. This is why it's better to have a sweet or two with a meal than to eat sweets all day. it's about reducing your exposure to sugar. Then there are other foods that are tooth- healthy such as milk and cheese which provide the calcium required for healthy strong bones and teeth.
Oral health goes beyond just the teeth too, with the periodontal tissues and structures being important too. And while there's not (yet?) a proven causal link between gum health and heart health, it's definitely better to have healthy gums. The belief surrounding the link between bad gums and an unhealthy heart is that it may be to do with lifestyle factors that have detrimental effects on both. In other words, rather than than them being causally linked, healthy living keeps both in better shape.
This week the health insurance company AXA PPP healthcare are holding a dental health chat live with their resident expert. Click link here for details of the question and answer session which is open to all and you can ask anything on the general topic of dental health.