Thursday, March 17, 2022

How good oral hygiene can help prevent critical illnesses

Brushing and flossing regularly are essential in maintaining good oral health.

With all the health-related matters we need to juggle during this time, dental concerns often take the backseat. However, good oral hygiene should never be neglected because, aside from preventing cavities, periodontal disease, and tooth loss, it also helps protect us from serious health conditions later on, such as heart disease.

While it may be difficult to see the link between bad oral health and our overall health, researchers have discovered that there is a connection between declining oral health and underlying systematic conditions. According to the Mayo Clinic, your oral health may contribute to various diseases and conditions, such as endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and birth complications, as well as pneumonia. Practicing good oral hygiene is a key step that can help prevent these illnesses linked with dental health.

AXA Philippines, one of the country’s leading insurance providers, reminds us that the age-old wisdom on oral care, along with some new technological methods, are still as effective as ever, and offers these tips to protect your oral health:

Brush and floss regularly. One of the most important things that you can do to maintain your oral health even when you’re just staying at home is to keep brushing and flossing your teeth daily. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice every day and floss your teeth at least once each day. These simple tasks can limit the negative effects of bacteria and plaque, such as painful cavities and gum disease.

Use additional tools to aid you. Even after brushing and flossing, some food may still be left stuck in your teeth. To remedy this, you can incorporate the usage of a water pick, also known as an oral pulsating irrigator, in your routine to help remove food particles. While it isn’t considered as a substitute for brushing and flossing, water picks may help reduce the chances of developing gingivitis or other gum-related diseases. Various models can be bought from reputable online stores at different price points, to best suit your budget. Adding mouthwash usage to your daily oral hygiene routine can also provide greater protection against plaque and reduce potential gum infection when compared to brushing alone. The antibacterial ingredients of mouthwash, such as essential oils, helps eliminate the bacteria in the gums, teeth, and the entire mouth.

Go for a dental check-up. While movement is still limited, dental care should be considered as an essential task as delaying so could pose considerable risks to your long-term health. Dentists have enhanced their equipment and safety procedures during this time, so check-ups are less risky. Just be sure to follow safety protocols so you can stay safe when you go in for your appointment.

Maintain a healthy diet. Your lifestyle, especially the food you consume, can affect your dental health. Excessive sugary foods can cause oral health problems, such as the development of plaque, cavities, and tooth decay. Therefore, it’s important to be mindful of your sugar intake and start cutting down to avoid more serious health complications in the long run. Eating calcium-rich foods, green leafy vegetables, and fruits rich in vitamin C can help you have stronger teeth and healthier gums.

Have oral prophylaxis or teeth cleaning done regularly. This dental procedure is recommended to be done every six months or at least annually, depending on your medical history. Oral prophylaxis will further help prevent gum disease and tooth decay since the dentist is able to clean even below the gumline, which can be difficult to do at home. Your dentist will also be able to inspect your teeth and gums for any signs of poor oral health and or underlying medical issues such as receding gums, erupting wisdom teeth, dental cavities, or even oral cancer – some of which will require immediate treatment. It is important to know that poor oral health can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, so it pays to prevent this altogether.

Good oral hygiene may be easy to overlook for some, but its link to preventing other diseases should always be taken seriously. Simple steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones can really go a long way. However, while adopting these healthy habits can help prevent serious health issues, critical illnesses could still hit unexpectedly. Having health insurance can help you prepare for the impact of critical illnesses. AXA Philippines offers Health Start Lite, a plan that provides customers with critical illness protection, including heart attack, for as low as P535 a month with P1 million coverage and is renewable up to age 75. This health package also offers P1.5 million and P2 million plan options depending on your budget. You will also be entitled to access safe and convenient medical teleconsultation services, prescriptions arrangement via email, and medicine delivery services.

To get yourself and your loved ones protected and ready in case of unexpected health conditions, visit

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