Daily Oral hygiene involves activities to keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Some parts can be done on your own at home, while others require the assistance of a professional. You probably know that brushing your teeth and flossing each day is part of a good oral health regimen, but are you aware that you should see your dentist at least twice annually for a professional cleaning and dental exam? Proper oral hygiene has a tremendous impact on your general health, as well as on the condition of your teeth and gums. Take a look below to learn more about why good oral hygiene is important and should be a part of your healthcare routine.
Several health conditions can be tied to oral health problems. Some are first noticed as a lesion in the mouth or infection of the gums. For example, those with periodontal disease have been shown by several studies to be more at risk for heart disease. It is believed that the reason for this is due to the higher burden of inflammation on the body presented by such oral health issues. Chronic inflammation is detrimental to a number of bodily systems and functions.
According to mayoclinic.org health conditions that can be affected by poor oral hygiene include:
* Pregnancy complications
* Low birth weight
* Infective endocarditis
* Bacterial pneumonia
You can play a strong role in lowering your risk for these health issues by taking good care of your teeth and maintaining regular dental appointments. As parents, it is also important that you teach children good dental hygiene at an early age.
Diet and Exercise
This may be no surprise, but having a good diet and staying active isn’t just good for your overall health, It is also good for your teeth. Calcium-rich foods like low-fat yogurt, cheese, and other proteins like salmon, almonds, and tofu are great for building strong and healthy teeth. Consistent exercise also helps reduce inflammation which is a key driver for most periodontal health.
Prevention is Key
Because dental health issues have the potential to wreak havoc on other aspects of your physical and even emotional wellbeing, practicing good daily oral hygiene like brushing your teeth and flossing is your best bet. It is also important that you keep up with dental exams every six months. This type of dedication to your oral hygiene can pay off if any issues were to arise and it also keeps you accountable with oral care. Dental professionals can also detect any early issues to prevent any conditions from worsening.
Conditions your dentist may be able to detect include:
* Gum problems
* Oral cancer
Tooth Loss Prevention
One of the most common dental problems faced by many is tooth loss. Not taking good care of your teeth and gums can lead to plaque buildup, which causes tooth decay and gum infection. These are the primary contributors to tooth loss. A comprehensive dental health regimen of daily at-home care and bi-annual professional cleaning can significantly reduce tooth loss. Most people want to have a white, beautiful smile. Proper oral care is essential to achieving that goal.
Investing in your oral hygiene in cooperation with the assistance of a qualified dental professional can pay off in big ways. Your dentist gets to know you as a person when you schedule a regular visit. They can determine your unique needs and create an individualized treatment plan to help you reach your specific oral health goals. For instance, if you’re dealing with crooked teeth and want a way to straighten them that is less invasive and noticeable, your dentist can recommend clear aligners covered by dental insurance.
If you’re experiencing gum problems and are in danger of losing teeth, your dental professional will be able to advise you on practices that can prevent tooth loss. If you don’t see a dentist on a regular basis, these issues will go unknown and cannot be adequately addressed.
You don’t have to go it alone. Your dentist will work with you to overcome any oral hygiene issues you are currently facing. Any temporary discomfort you may have to deal with during treatment is better than dealing with a lifetime of tooth pain, difficulty eating, or loss of self-confidence issues.
You now have a better idea of how important good daily oral hygiene is for both your smile and your general wellness. Taking care of your dental needs can be an empowering step toward taking control of your overall health. The first step is to schedule an appointment with a dentist you trust.
Author: Tracie Johnson is a New Jersey native and an alum of Penn State University. Tracie is passionate about writing, reading, and living a healthy lifestyle. She feels happiest when around a campfire surrounded by friends, family, and her Dachshund named Rufus.