A few months back we published a “How To Guide” for those who suffered from diabetes but needed help maintaining their smile. There was such a positive response, we wanted to follow up with additional information. Be sure to leave a comment with any questions you may have!
How To Maintain A Healthy Smile With Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you have to pay close attention to your oral health. As a diabetic, you’re more prone to developing certain oral health conditions, including dry mouth and gum disease, and that means you have to take extra precautions to protect your mouth and your body.
Follow these 7 tips for maintaining a killer smile!
Keep your blood sugar in check. This is something you have to do any way, but remember uncontrolled diabetes can lead to many problems in your body and in your mouth. If you don’t control your diabetes, it impairs your white blood cells—and that’s your body’s main defense against bacterial infections that develop in your mouth.
- Keep your dentist informed. Each time you go to the dentist, tell him or her about any changes in your condition. Tell your dentist about your last hypoglycemic episode, including when it happened. And if you take insulin, tell your dentist when you took your last dose. Give him a list of all the medications you take along with the dosage.
It’s also important to make sure your dentist and diabetes doctor interact and discuss any necessary treatment. Have your dentist put your doctor’s contact information in your file, so it’s always easy to find.
- Go to regular checkups. Make sure you go for routine cleanings twice a year. Keep in mind your dentist might want you to come in more often than that, depending on your oral condition. Remember your dentist wants to keep you in optimal health, so take these visits seriously.
- Remember to floss. You should floss you teeth at least once a day.
- Brush regularly. Remember to brush your teeth after every meal. Wait about 30 minutes after you finish eating, and then use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Stop smoking. If you’re a smoker, it’s time to put those cigarettes out for good. They’re doing nothing but damaging your health, and their effect is even worse when you have diabetes. Ask your doctor for advice on how to quit, and look to family and friends for support.
- Keep your dentures clean. If you have dentures, be sure to remove them and clean them every day. Although it might be tempting, don’t sleep in your dentures.
- Follow post-treatment instructions carefully. If you have diabetes, it will take your oral tissue longer to heal after oral surgery or other dental procedures. Make sure you follow your dentist’s post-op instructions carefully to avoid any problems.
Taking care of your oral health should always be a priority, but it becomes even more important for people with diabetes. If you notice any changes in your oral health, contact your dentist right away—don’t wait until your next dental office visit.
Remember, maintaining your oral health is key to maintaining your overall health. If you don’t take care of your diabetes, your dental health will suffer. Keep your blood sugar in check and follow your doctor’s orders to keep your body and your mouth as healthy as possible.