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Research alert: Healthy teeth & gums for a healthy heart

Date: May 04, 2015 · Posted in: Research Alerts
Research alert: Healthy teeth & gums for a healthy heart

When it comes to health, we tend to think of the things that we put into our body: eating veggies and fruits, avoiding sugars and saturated fat; and taking our vitamins, minerals and supplements. But one other factor that is so crucial to our health is oral care, keeping our chompers and gums clean and healthy! Oral care health has been linked to overall health, including heart health.

With respect to the heart heart, one study has assessed that participants who had improved their gum health were found to have a slower rate of plaque accumulation in arteries in the neck. The authors of the study suggested that helping to reduce gum disease and decreasing harmful bacteria in the mouth could help to prevent or slow the progression of heart disease. Although the mechanism remains to be known, the authors suggest that gum-disease bacteria could trigger inflammation associated with atherosclerosis (plaques in the arteries). In addition to heart health, a multitude of other studies have evaluated the health benefits of proper oral care.

So what are some ways to prevent tooth loss and keep your teeth and gum healthy? Here are some tips:

  • Keep your mouth clean by using a soft-bristle toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Wait at least 20-30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth
  • Floss daily (this is key for keeping your gums healthy)
  • Limit foods and beverages that have high sugar or carbohydrate content, and stick to sensible snack foods
  • Check your mouth regularly and see your dentist regularly (make sure to discuss any observations/concerns with your dentist)

For Parents of toddlers and children, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.

  1. Parents need to brush their children’s teeth, especially toddlers and young children (children under 3). Ffor children who are older (ages 3-6), tooth brushing still should be assisted by an adult.
  2. Hold their toothbrushes at a 45% angle and point the bristles to where their gums and teeth meet, and use gentle circular motions to scrub each tooth surface (be gentle, as using too much force can actually harm your child’s gums).
  3. Make sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles, and only a bit of toothpaste. For older children who can use fluoride toothpaste, only a very small amount (size of a green pea is recommended).
  4. When it comes to fluoride, ask your health professional to determine if your child can have fluoride and what the risk is of using fluoride versus not using fluoride for their age. 

Vitarock offers a range of oral health care products (with and without fluoride) to help keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, for both adults and children alike. Take a look to see what is best for you and/or your family!