Your mouth is like a gateway to your overall health and well-being. Let’s take a quick look at how your oral health is linked to your general health.
Our bodies contain lots of bacteria – mostly harmless ones that help to keep us healthy and functioning properly. Sometimes this bacteria can be harmful to our bodies and cause infections, particularly when it grows out of control or reaches a part of your body where it doesn’t normally live.
Your oral cavity – that’s your mouth and throat – is one of those places in your body where bacteria like to live. And because your oral cavity connects to your stomach via the food pipe and to your lungs via the windpipe, it is essentially a gateway to the rest of your body. So keeping bacteria under control in your mouth and throat protects the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, and throat, but also helps to protect your body from inflammation or conditions associated with harmful bacteria.
Because your mouth and throat act as this gateway to your body, keeping on top of your oral health can help you keep the rest of your body feeling healthy too. But what are some simple things that you can do every day to help keep your mouth and throat healthy?
Brush and floss your teeth
Brushing your teeth twice a day is key for removing the plaque and acid-producing bacteria that builds up on your teeth and gums, helping to prevent tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Use a toothpaste with fluoride to help strengthen the outer enamel layer on your teeth. Flossing every day to clean those hard-to-reach places between your teeth and down in your gums also helps to clear out excess plaque.
Rinse out your mouth
Swish some mouthwash or oral rinse around your mouth after brushing and flossing to remove any remaining food particles. Consider using a mouth spray to help keep your mouth and throat clean and fresh during the day.
Watch what you eat and drink
Limit your intake of foods and drinks that are high in sugar, and aim for a healthy, well-balanced diet. Avoid smoking or using any other tobacco products.
Taking care of your oral health is obviously an important step in staying healthy, but it’s often hard to avoid those germs that can cause sore throats. The best way to help prevent a sore throat is to practice good personal hygiene to limit spreading any infection you may come across.
Clean and sanitise your hands regularly
Wash all parts of your hands and fingers thoroughly with soap and warm water for 30 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser to disinfect your hands when you’re on the go.
Wear a face mask
Wearing a close-fitting face mask that covers your nose, mouth, and chin, especially when you are indoors or among lots of people, can help reduce your risk of being exposed to sore throat-causing germs.
Keep your distance
Practise social distancing when out and about, and try to limit your contact with people who may be sick. If you feel that first sign of a tickle in your throat, it’s best to stay at home to avoid spreading any germs.