Oral care trends for 2021

In a recent Zoom conference about mouth health hosted by Zendium, authoritative experts including Dr Rupy Aujla (NHS GP and Sunday Times bestselling author The Doctor’s Kitchen, Eat to Beat Illness and The Doctor’s Kitchen 3-2-1), Dr Jenna Macciochi (Immunologist with +20 years experience and author of The Science of Staying Well), Dr Victoria Sampson (Dentist and author of numerous oral health papers both in the UK and internationally) have identified interesting oral care trends for 2021. Considering we have been in semi-total lockdown for a year, we have limited our visits to dentists to the bare minimum so mouth health has now been linked to general health and oral care will be high on the agenda of most people in 2021. The speakers also highlighted simple tips on how to take care of our teeth, which I’m sharing here.

Trend 1: Prebiotics for mouth health and not just for gut health

Gut health has been the focus of many studies over the past decade. In 2021 the focus seems to have shifted towards mouth health as the mouth has been identified as the first point of attack to our immune system. Washing our hands and social distancing might be the new normal, but there’s no denying maintaining a healthy balance when it comes to our body’s immunity barriers is also key no matter the circumstance. As we all look for ways to keep healthy, the search for prebiotics (ingredients that help good bacteria to flourish) and prebiotic inspired products, has gathered momentum – inspiring us to improve our knowledge on the role good bacteria has to play in keeping our defences up. 

In lockdown we have all become experts in caring for our dental hygiene so pharma companies are now producing new microbiome-friendly products designed to nurture the mouth’s bacterial ecosystem – not fight against it. Zendium oral care range has just been launched in the UK – although it was pioneered back in 1969 challenging the antibacterial science of oral care by the Scandinavian microbiologist Dr Henk Hoogendoorn, who was inspired by the way the mouth naturally controls bacteria to protect teeth and gums. Zendium is specifically aimed at caring for the mouth through the actions of natural active enzymes & proteins which deliver a prebiotic benefit, boosting the good bacteria in our mouth to protect us from dental problems. What we need to aware of is what’s in our toothpaste and use products with mild yet effective ingredients which do not disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in our mouth. We need to watch out for SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) foaming agent which can irritate the mouth, and demineralise our enamel. 

Trend 2: Avoid stress to improve mouth and dental health

Foundation (BNF)’s Nutrition and COVID-19 conference stated that a well-functioning immune system is key to providing robust defence against infections such as COVID-19. While there is no perfect way to boost the immune system, we can strive to strengthen our bodies’ natural defences and refresh our health routines, by doing simple things regularly. 

Stress, for instance, can affect mouth health & the oral microbiome, which can manifest in physical symptoms such as teeth grinding & decreased saliva flow, as well as having a negative effect on overall tooth and gum health and suppressing our immune function. We should focus on recognising when we feel stressed and incorporate small stress management practices like mindfulness to prevent expensive dental treatments. 

Trend 3: Develop specific Diets aimed at improving our oral care 

It is important to remember that the food we eat is not only nourishing us, but our oral microbes too. A nutrient-rich diet, with a large variety of fresh fruit and vegetables and low in refined carbohydrates will help nurture the oral microbiome. Steer away from ‘free sugars’ in our diet.  

Dont-Forget-Your-Diet

One of the best ways to help regulate our bacterial ecosystem is to incorporate products and ingredients which help good bacteria to proliferate, such as prebiotics, into our routines, not simply in relation to gut health, but for oral health too. 

The Doctor’s Kitchen‘s latest book by Dr Rupy Aujla has lots of delicious and nutritious recipes to support mouth health. 

Trend 4: Pro-Mouth Health Exercise  

A lack of movement can contribute to an imbalanced oral microbiome. Exercise doesn’t need to take place in the gym (and with lockdown 2.0 we all need to future-proof our movement). It can be as simple as going for a daily walk and breaking up sedentary periods at your desk. 

Mouth health easy tips 

Floss before brushing the teeth at least twice daily. 

Don’t use a mouthwash after brushing teeth but at other times. Use a therapeutic mouthwash.

Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is not just for kids. This natural mineral hardens tooth enamel, helping to prevent cavities. You can get fluoride from your toothpaste, some mouth rinses and in-office or at-home treatments your dental professional may provide. 

Cut down on sugar. If you want to eat any sweets, do it all at once maybe as part of a meal not throughout the day. Then brush your teeth. 

Brush your teeth half hour after eating to better protect enamel. 

Get children into a teeth-cleaning routine.

Replace toothbrushes every three to four months, although with children you may need to change sooner. 

Tongue Brushing: Brush your tongue to help fight the bacteria in your mouth. Tongue brushing is not only essential for keeping your teeth healthy, it also helps to stop bad breath. Try using a toothbrush with a cheek and tongue cleaner, so you can easily remove bacteria from your mouth every time you brush.

Get regular dental cleanings. Your dentist can detect early gum disease symptoms if you see them on a regular basis. 

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