Real Men, Real Health Talk: June is Men’s Health Month
It’s a generally accepted statistic that men don’t live as long as women. That’s because men often neglect self-care, especially when it comes to oral health. Men, it’s time to start taking better care of your teeth this Men’s Health Month!
Visit Your Dentist
Brushing and flossing are essential every day but they’re not enough for the long-term, no matter your age. We all know about the six-month-minimum rule for seeing the dentist and getting our teeth checked. But man to man, when was the last time you had a dental checkup and cleaning?
This June, carve out some much-needed “me time” for yourself and make sure to include dental care in your schedule. Your future self will thank you. That’s because regular dental checkups and cleanings are the only way to detect the signs of oral health problems and avoid further complications down the line.
A quick visit to your dentist this month could be the difference between a simple cavity treatment to a necessary tooth extraction due to a prolonged infection, or worse, oral cancer. This isn’t meant to scare you — it’s just a reality check, because the fact is, neglecting dental care over several years can lead to serious oral complications, which require extensive and invasive treatments to correct.
Practice Good Dental Care Habits at Home
Unless you’re one of the lucky people living with a dentist in the family, chances are, your dentist can’t be there for you 24/7 to look after your teeth and gums. Visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings is important for long-term oral health, but what about daily care? Simple — make it a habit to brush twice a day and floss once. Regular brushing and flossing is your best line of defence against cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and other more complicated oral health problems.
You’re probably sick of hearing this by now, but the fact is, a lot of people still haven’t gotten into this habit. For clean and healthy teeth, make sure to brush for two minutes each time and spend another couple of minutes for flossing. The six minutes you spend brushing and flossing every day can make all the difference in terms of the kind of dental care you’ll require down the line.
Kick the Habit
Enjoying a couple of beers with friends or a glass of scotch on a friday night are common ways to unwind, but when the bar gets too loud and the urge to step out for a smoke hits, that’s when you’re really putting your health in danger.
On its own, smoking is known to lead to respiratory issues, culminating in life-threatening lung cancer. But did you know that smoking also causes serious implications for dental health?
Tobacco causes staining on the teeth, resulting in a yellowed appearance over time. On a more serious note, smoking increases the risk of various oral health diseases, such as tooth decay, gum disease, gingivitis, and oral cancer. The best solution is to quit while you’re ahead — and luckily, you won’t run out of smoking cessation methods to help you get back on track in no time. Kick the habit today — your teeth, gums, and overall bodily health with thank you. Not to mention your loved ones!
Check Your Meds
It’s not uncommon for men to take medication, especially on their 50s onward. These medications are used to treat and manage conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and even mental health problems such as depression. Unfortunately, some of these medicines can also cause oral health problems, especially when combined with a lack of proper dental care. We know what you’re thinking — medication is supposed to improve my health and make me feel better, so why does it sound like I’m about to get sicker?
Before you put down your much-needed medication altogether, it’s important to know what you are taking and how it can possibly affect your teeth and gums. For instance, some medicines cause saliva flow to decrease, which can then increase the risk of cavities as food particles and bacteria remain in the mouth for longer periods of time. To avoid this, make sure to drink lots of water, chew sugarless gum, and use an alcohol-free mouthwash.
In general, it also helps to avoid or limit your alcohol intake, carbonated and sugary drinks, and salty foods. Plus, make sure to talk to both your doctor and dentist about any possible side effects, so they can get you started on an alternative medication if need be, or help you better manage side effects.