Your Genetics And Your Oral Health
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While oral health is largely based on your oral health habits, your genetics can also play a role. Genetics is the study of genes, heredity and variation in living organisms that are passed down from generation to generation. Each person’s mouth is different, and genetics determine the physical makeup of your mouth, including tooth and jaw shape, the strength of your teeth, and other components of your smile. Although your smile is inherited from your parents, your dentist can help you maintain a healthy smile regardless of your mouth’s genetic makeup. Your genetics don’t have to define what you look like.

Appearance - The structure or appearance of your mouth can play a role in your oral health. For example, if you have large teeth with a relatively smaller jaw, you might be more susceptible to crowding. Conversely, if you have small teeth with a relatively larger jaw, you could experience diastema, or a gap in your teeth. If you experience crowded teeth or diastema, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist to explore your options. There are various treatment plans that your doctor can provide for you, including braces or tooth extraction.

Strength of Your Teeth - In addition, the strength of your teeth can impact your risk for developing cavities. If your teeth are inherently weaker than most, your dentist might recommend that you consume more dairy products and pay stricter attention to your oral health habits than others. You can also rinse your mouth with plain water immediately after consuming foods and beverages that are acidic. Chewing sugar-free gum that contains xylitol will strengthen your enamel, as well as brushing your teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush. Try not to brush your teeth rough since it can damage the enamel. While genetics play a role in your oral health, your habits and behaviors also make a great impact.

Nutritional Preferences - Your preferences for certain foods and beverages are oftentimes inherited, which can also indirectly affect your oral health. It is important to be aware of foods and drinks that are harmful to your teeth so that you can keep your smile healthy. For example, if you are predisposed to favor sugary drinks over unsweetened tea, this can increase your chances of developing cavities if you do not resist the urge to consistently consume that type of beverage. Your dentist in Lilburn may recommend sticking to water, dairy products and unsweetened tea to improve your oral health. If these drinks are some of your favorites, try drinking with a straw. This reduces the exposure of your teeth to the acid in the beverages.

Foods that weaken the enamel include citrus fruits, berries, and apples. Also, foods that are high in sugar can cause damage to the tooth. You should watch your diet and try to eliminate these sugary, starchy and acidic foods. However, when eating meals, try to include cheese within your diet. Cheese can reduce the acidity in your mouth and help to fight the weakening of the enamel.

Whether your genetics impact your smile in a positive or negative way, you can keep your smile healthy and beautiful by practicing good oral hygiene. You should floss daily, brush twice a day, and visit your Lilburn dentist regularly. Try to maintain a balanced diet and reduce the amount of sugary foods and beverages. It is best to also avoid habits such as smoking or tobacco use.


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