10 Tips for a Healthier Oral Microbiome in 2024
What Is the Oral Microbiome?
According to Dr. Derek Gatta, RiseWell co-founder, certified prosthodontist, and proprietor of Innovative Dental Aesthetics, the oral microbiome is the collection of all bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in our mouths. “This includes over 20 billion helpful bacteria that live in communities in various areas of the mouth. This helpful bacteria can be found in dental plaque, in saliva, and on the tongue, throat, tonsils, and cheeks. Most of this bacteria lives in total harmony with us and protects us from other harmful pathogens,” he explains. Maintaining balance within this ecosystem of microbes is vital for your overall health, and ensures that your smile will remain healthy and happy. The key is to adopt good oral hygiene practices that will preserve this delicate balance within your oral ecosystem, and that is exactly what we will be exploring below.
How Does the Oral Microbiome Affect Overall Health?
You may be asking yourself, how does oral health affect my general health? We’ll tell you!
A study by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) linked an imbalance in the oral microflora (same as microbiome) with the “development of diseases like tooth caries, periodontal diseases, type 2 diabetes, circulatory system related diseases, etc.” The study further noted that “the mouth is the gateway to total body wellness, thus the oral microbiome influences the overall health of an individual.” Additionally, other research has also established that the balance of your mouth microbiome can influence gut health directly, since the mouth is an integral part of the digestive process.
Top 10 Tips to Improve Your Oral Health in 2024
Here are our top 10 tips to optimize your and your family’s oral microbiome in 2024:
1. Stay hydrated.
This tip might be more important for your oral microbiome than you’d assume! Water is a natural healer and cleanser; so when you drink enough water every day, you are also flushing away a lot of bad bacteria from your mouth. In addition, adequate hydration maintains optimal saliva production. Saliva plays a key role by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria and producing antimicrobial agents that help control the growth of bacteria. So yes, go grab that glass of water while you are reading this. Keep your fluids flowing and your hydration going!
2. Eliminate processed sugars and carbs.
Minimizing the amount of processed sugars and refined carbohydrates your family consumes will go along way in enhancing your health. Of course, we get it. Popcorn is essential for a movie, and nothing beats a pizza during family night. But we still encourage you to reduce your intake of these things as much as you can. Instead, plan more meals that incorporate a diet rich in whole, real foods. This is not just a step towards a healthier family lifestyle but also one towards optimizing the health of your teeth, gums, and oral microbiome.
3. Mouth Tape:
We know it sounds weird, but dive in and discover the innovative practice of mouth taping, a method that goes far beyond improving oral health. Mouth breathing can disrupt the delicate bacterial balance in your oral microbiome by drying it out. Mouth tape encourages nasal breathing, maintains moisture in the mouth, and supports the oral microbiome by allowing air to pass over the nasal mucosa. This area contains beneficial bacteria crucial for overall oral health. Beyond that, it reduces the risk of tooth decay and improves sleep quality—for enhanced overall health. We promise - it’s not weird, and will provide great benefits for you and your family!
4. Optimize Your Brushing Habits and How You Brush:
Brushing correctly is incredibly important to optimize oral health. Brush at least twice per day for two minutes, and please consider using a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your teeth and gums! Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and use gentle circular motions rather than back-and-forth motions. This gentle approach ensures effective cleaning without causing tiny scratches on your teeth that could allow bacteria to collect. Brush like you are caring for the delicate skin of a tomato—gentle and mindful. And try to brush for the full 2 minutes!
5. Swap out your toothbrush every 1 to 3 months.
The longer you use a toothbrush, the more bacteria it harbors. Additionally, over time, the bristles on the toothbrush wear down, becoming flat and worn out. These worn-out bristles can damage your enamel and dentin (the nerves of your tooth) and compromise the health of your teeth. At RiseWell, we understand how important a good, bacteria-free toothbrush is for you and your family’s oral care. This is why we offer a convenient subscription for our all-natural Bamboo Toothbrush with a 15%-off price perk! You get to choose how often you want to replace your toothbrush and can pause and cancel your subscription at any time.
6. Double-check the ingredients in your oral care products.
Always be careful with the ingredients in your oral care products. While there are billions of bacteria in our mouths, not all of them should be killed. So first, avoid using mouthwashes that contain alcohol that eliminates a lot of the healthy bacteria that we need alongside the bad bacteria. In addition, avoid PFASs (plastics), harsh detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate, and natural flavors. Interesting fact: “natural flavors” can consist of over 100 unknown chemicals making up the flavor. Beware!
We recommend that you make flossing a daily habit for you and your family. Flossing removes debris from between your teeth where they can form very painful cavities. By flossing daily with a floss like our Scrubby Floss, you proactively prevent cavities and gum disease while optimizing your oral health. Our floss is also Teflon-free and infused with hydroxyapatite for extra remineralizing power!
8. Use an alcohol-free, pH-balancing mouthwash.
Another great way to restore balance to your oral microbiome is with our Balancing Mouthwash. Powered by Xylitol, our alcohol-free mouthwash not only refreshes your breath but also balances the pH in your mouth for a healthy and happy microbiome. Xylitol is a powerful and natural prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria while starving the bad bacteria. It also helps to prevent dry mouth and reduces inflammation. Our pH Balancing Mouthwash is the perfect addition to your daily routine for a refreshed, balanced, and healthy mouth.
9. Use a hydroxyapatite toothpaste.
RiseWell Mineral Toothpaste is made with naturally derived hydroxyapatite—a mineral that makes up 90% of our tooth enamel and has been proven to protect, strengthen, and remineralize teeth without fluoride. This is the type of toothpaste that is the most family-friendly. One that effectively fights cavities, feeds the oral microbiome, is naturally biomimetic and non-toxic, promotes natural whitening, and is safe for kids. The premium standard of safety for any product is that it should be safe enough for you to eat (especially if you’re using it twice a day, every day), and that is our toothpaste for you! Just brush, spit, and let the hydroxyapatite remain on your teeth to continue remineralizing, whitening and fighting cavities NATURALLY!
10. Visit your dentist regularly.
Book that dentist appointment today. Here’s why: dental check-ups enable early detection and prevention of potential problems such as cavities, gum disease, and oral infections. These routine visits not only support the longevity of your smile but also contribute to your overall well-being by addressing oral health issues in time before they become overall health issues. Learn more about the importance of professional cleanings here.
Happier Mornings and Healthier Smiles with RiseWell.
RiseWell is here to hold your hand on this important journey toward optimal oral health for you and your family. We see you and we commend you for prioritizing your family’s health in 2024. We are also excited and cannot wait to see it through with you till the very end!
Start Every Day Well with RiseWell.