Have you ever wondered why dentists make such a fuss about the importance of establishing a superb oral health routine? Biannual dental appointments and daily preventive care are great ways to make sure your mouth stays healthy and strong. These will also help prevent small oral health issues from escalating into more serious and expensive problems down the road that will affect more than just the health of your mouth. Because that’s the big secret: your oral health directly relates to the wellness of your entire body. We’re going to explain how they correlate and what you can do to make sure your mouth stays in tip-top shape!
How Bacteria Affects Your Mouth & Body
The mouth is essentially a gateway for bacteria to enter your body, so excellent dental hygiene plays a vital role in defending your body from infection:
- Bacteria in your mouth eat leftover food and beverage particles if not brushed and washed away daily. Feasting bacteria produce acid that wears away your enamel and increases your risk for tooth decay.
- Poor oral care can also lead to the buildup of plaque and tartar, which cause issues such as gingivitis and periodontitis, also known as gum disease.
- Gum inflammation and infection have been linked to acne, diabetes, premature delivery of underweight babies, and even heart disease. Yikes!
Recognizing Gum Disease
Gingivitis and periodontitis can lead to a number of health related issues, so it’s important to nip gum disease in the bud as soon as it rears its ugly head. If you have any of the following symptoms, contact us right away:
- Pain or tenderness in your gums
- Swollen or abnormally red gums
- Bleeding gums despite daily brushing & flossing
- Receding gums (your teeth may appear to look longer)
- Pockets between your gums & teeth
- Loose adult teeth
- Chronic bad breath
4 Tips for a Healthy Smile & Healthy Body
Rest assured that there are things you can do to keep your mouth healthy and protect yourself from gum disease and its negative consequences!
- Brush & Floss Every Day
- Rinse, Gargle & Spit
- Replace Your Toothbrush
- Come Visit Us Every 6 Months
The first steps to a superb oral care routine include brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoride toothpaste, brushing your tongue every day, and flossing at least once a day. Brush and floss to limit the buildup of plaque and to help prevent the development of gingivitis. If you’re particularly susceptible to plaque buildup and tooth decay, consider chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol between meals. You may be tempted to brush your teeth immediately after you eat, but the American Dental Association recommends waiting at least an hour after eating acidic foods and beverages to limit enamel erosion.
Adding mouthwash to your daily oral care routine is another simple way to keep your mouth healthy and freshen your breath. Gargling with a fluoride-based mouthwash for about 30 seconds helps prevent cavities, and an alcohol-free anti-plaque/anti-gingivitis mouthwash will help prevent gum disease.
Remember to replace your toothbrush every three months because old toothbrushes are a known offender for being a breeding ground for bacteria. Change it out earlier if the bristles get all frayed or if you’ve been sick.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Preventing plaque buildup is your best bet for keeping your mouth and the rest of your body nice and healthy! Plaque that hardens into tartar needs to be removed by a dental health professional, so make regular dental cleanings a priority to get into all those nooks and crannies that plaque and tartar like to hide in. To schedule your next appointment with our expert team, contact us today!