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What Can YOU Do to Keep a Healthy Mouth?

Your teeth and your gums.

teeth

These things might be more important than you previously thought. Here at the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation, we are committed to providing education and prevention information to women like you – and an important area of women’s health is oral health!

What do we know already?

  • education and prevention are key in reducing untreated dental disease
  • oral health impacts overall health
  • nutrition and home care are key to maintaining oral health
  • women are complicated 🙂

WisconsinOral health and our home state, Wisconsin

Access to complete dental care is difficult for poor and un/underinsured adults. Only about 30% of all eligible Medicaid enrollees received any dental services and there are even further issues for those with special needs. These are all issues that need to be addressed and corrections need to be facilitated.

Oral health and young adulthood

Risk factors influencing oral health begin very early. Some of these young adult risk factors include:

  • smoking
  • poor nutritional habits
  • eating disorders

Women-specific oral health

  • female hormones act directly on oral tissues and other body systems that can produce effects in the oral cavity
  • some women experience swollen and bleeding gums a week prior to menstruation – a sign of poor oral health – even without noticeable plaque
  • high amounts of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy can affect oral tissues and swelling and bleeding during this time is very common
  • excessive vomiting due to morning sickness during pregnancy can lead to decay and tooth loss

So, what’s a girl to do?!

  • optimal home care (flossing and brushing) are a must!
  • dental treatment is recommended during pregnancy
  • optimal plaque control, additional fluoride and proper nutrition
  • drink lots of fluoridated water
  • use proper brushing technique (toothbrush 45 degree angle to gum tissue, slow gentle circular motion, 2-3 minutes)
  • use proper flossing technique (hold floss tightly against tooth surface, work up and down – don’t saw!)

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