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Someone brushing their teeth.

Why Taking Care of Your Teeth is Important for Overall Health

The Importance of Oral Health

Brushing your teeth, going to the dentist, flossing. Why do they matter? It is just your mouth, right? Well, it turns out that maintaining your oral health may be more important than you think.

Why is Oral Health Important?

Like any other part of your body, maintaining a healthy mouth can help prevent a lot of unnecessary
health issues
. Remember, having an issue in one area of your body can also affect other areas of your body.

Your oral health can be an indicator of your overall health as well. According to Mayo Clinic, “…your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and some of these bacteria can cause disease.” If your oral health is not maintained, bacteria and infections can develop which can lead to things like gum disease and tooth decay. This lead to problems beyond the teeth and gums.

Conditions like endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia and complications with pregnancies can all be influenced by one’s oral health. Endocarditis can be caused by bacteria that enter the body through the mouth. Cardiovascular disease has an unclear link. However, clogged arteries, heart disease and strokes may be linked to infections caused by oral bacteria.

Bacteria from your mouth can reach your lungs as well, which is how it can cause pneumonia or other respiratory issues. Periodontitis has also been found to have a link with low birth weight and premature births. Often times, these can be prevented with daily oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist.

Tips for Oral Hygiene Care

Oral hygiene is an important part of preventing disease and the development of problematic bacteria and infections. Most of oral hygiene can be taken care of on your own by brushing your teeth and flossing regularly, as well as regular visits to your dentist.

Brush Your Teeth Regularly

Brushing your teeth is one of the simplest ways to promote good oral health. You should brush at least twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride. You should also make an effort to floss every day. Using mouthwash to remove anything left afterward can help remove some food that may have not been taken out while brushing or flossing.

Cut Down on Sugary Foods

Limiting your intake of foods with added sugars can also help prevent things like cavities and tooth decay (depending on the food or beverage). Also, avoiding smoking and tobacco use can help make sure your teeth stay nice and white. Your gums will stay healthy too.

Anytime you notice something odd or if you find yourself having any problems with your oral health in general, it is important to contact your dentist. Your dentist will be able to identify if there are any problems, and if there are, they will be able to provide you with the best treatment options.

Why You Should See a Dentist

If you have access to dental care, regular visits to the dentist are important. Not only are they able to perform in-depth cleaning that cannot be done with simple floss and a toothbrush, but they will also be able to check your overall mouth health as well.

Stages of Cleaning

The two stages of a regular dentist appointments are usually the checkup first and then the oral cleaning (oral prophylaxis).

During the checkup the dentist checks for cavities. They can do this visually or via x-rays. They also will check your teeth for plaque and tartar as well. When plaque hardens on your teeth it becomes tartar which cannot be removed via normal brushing or flossing. When tartar builds up it can cause oral health problems.

After your teeth are checked, they check the gums to measure the space between your teeth and gums. If it has shallow spaces, your gums are healthy. If the spaces are a bit deeper, it could be indicative of gum disease.

After the checkup, your dentist will likely start the cleaning process. While you may not be able to remove tartar on your own, your dentist has a special tool that they can use to help remove tartar.

These are all things that you cannot do on your own. They require both tools and expertise that only a licensed professional can provide. So, if you have not seen your dentist in a while, consider booking an appointment with them. Your mouth will thank you later.

Maintaining a Healthy Mouth

Like other aspects of your health, maintaining a healthy mouth is extremely important. It is not just important for your oral health, but also for your overall health. The good thing is if you have access to dental care it is relatively simple. If you brush at least twice a day, floss regularly and make sure you visit your dentist at least twice a year, you will already be taking the right steps to ensure proper dental care.

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