Living with diabetes isn’t easy, as the disease literally affects every part of the body. Dealing with high blood sugar and learning how to control it can be overwhelming for many people, especially when it comes to changing diet and exercise habits. What’s right for one person might not be right for another, so it’s important not to compare yourself with someone else who is living with diabetes.
One of the most important things to remember is that high blood sugar can affect everything from your kidneys to your gums; any part of your body that blood touches, diabetes can also touch. Keeping up with your oral health is imperative for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that gum disease is prevalent in diabetes sufferers and it can lead to other health issues, such as heart disease. Not only that, it can be costly to repair when it’s time to head to the dentist.
Here are a few tips on keeping your pearly whites safe and clean when you are living with diabetes.
Get into good habits…
Good habits, such as brushing and flossing after every meal, are imperative when you’re living with a disease that targets gums and teeth. Carry a travel-size oral care kit–toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash–with you at all times and create a routine that’s easy to stick with when it comes to remembering to get it done. You can even set an alarm on your phone to help keep you on track.
…And lose the bad ones
Losing the bad habits is just as important as setting good ones. This means quitting smoking or chewing tobacco and being careful about drinking soda and other sugary drinks, just to name a couple. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have the right kind of toothbrush; bristles that are too hard can irritate the gums and cause even more issues. Be mindful of other bad habits that can wreak havoc on your oral health such as biting your nails, chomping on ice, or using your teeth as a multi-purpose tool.
Consider your current oral health :
If your teeth and gums are already problematic, it’s possible to fix those issues before they get worse, and it’s important to do so. Not only can cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease cause pain and make it difficult to eat and drink, they can also become more costly to fix the longer you wait. Implants are one option, but they’re not for everyone, so you’ll need to do a bit of research before making the decision. Click here for information on the cost of dental implants.
Take care of your toothbrush :
Just as important as caring for your mouth is caring for the tools you use. It’s never a good idea to use a toothbrush cover for extended periods of time, as this can cause bacteria growth and lead to contamination. Always rinse your brush thoroughly after use to remove any toothpaste residue, and never reuse floss. Pay attention to how long you’ve had your toothbrush too, as it is best to replace it every three to four months (sooner if the bristles become frayed). These tips will help you maintain a clean, healthy mouth.
Control your diet :
For many people who are living with diabetes, keeping a strict diet and exercise routine is imperative. Getting rid of refined sugars–which can be found in everything from bread to tomato sauce–and replacing them with whole grains and sugar-free foods is a great start, as all that sugar can have a damaging effect on teeth and gums. Cheese is one potentially great option, as it produces acid-neutralizing saliva. Yet another reason to incorporate fruits and veggies into your diet is the fact that their hard, crunchy texture acts as your own personal plaque scraper. Plus all the chewing they require produces extra saliva. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day too to wash away bacteria and reap the benefits of the fluoride it contains.
Staying on top of your oral health is the best way to ensure you won’t have any issues down the road. Talk to your family members about how they can support you and join you in learning the best ways to take care of teeth and gums.
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