7 Benefits When You Take Good Care of Your Dental Health
Adults and children are required to care for their teeth daily to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent dental problems associated with neglecting routine oral care. According to the Oral Health Foundation, the toothbrush, toothpaste, and interdental cleaning are your primary oral care weapons. Regular dental checkups are also your backup arsenal in the plan to keep your teeth and gum healthy and preserve your smile.
How to Maintain Good Dental Health
No matter how you may try to get around it, if you want to keep those pearly whites and prevent health complications linked to poor dental hygiene then you must take care of your teeth and gum every day. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), good oral hygiene involves the following:
- Brushing 2 times a day with a good toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
- Brushing in a circular motion for about 2 minutes
- Interdental cleaning by flossing in between teeth daily
- Replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
- Drinking fluoride water
- Ceasing tobacco use/smoking
- Having dental checkups at least twice a year
- Eating healthy and limiting sugary foods and drinks
- Rinsing and storing your toothbrush in an upright position
- Keeping wet toothbrushes uncovered to prevent bacterial growth
This list of things to do may seem like a tall order, but there are numerous benefits linked to taking care of your dental health by following those tips. Here are 7 main benefits of good dental hygiene:
1. Reduces plaque and tartar buildup
Plaque and tartar buildup can cause bad breath and lead to cavities. Plaque is a sticky off-white substance that clings to the enamel of the teeth. It contains sugars from trapped food particles as well as bacteria. If not removed, it can harden into tartar. Regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing with a mouthwash helps prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Trace amounts of plaque may still remain particularly on teeth at the back of the mouth and in between teeth that are hard to reach or very close together. Your dentist can remove hard-to-reach plaque and tartar during regular dental checkups.
2. Maintains healthy gum
Poor dental hygiene can result in various types of gum infections or disease. Gingivitis is a condition where the gum bleeds easily such as during brushing or flossing. It is an indication that the gum is infected. If this happens your doctor can treat you for gingivitis with antibiotics. A serious dental condition that can affect the gum is periodontitis or gum disease. Periodontitis is a chronic gum infection that destroys the bone holding the teeth. Red, puffy, swollen, or bleeding gums, pain while chewing, bad breath, receding gum, and loose tooth are common periodontitis symptoms.
3. Protects against dental abscess
A dental abscess is a capsule of bacteria-filled pus that infects the gum or tip of the tooth. Inflammation, pain, and a small pimple or fistula on the gum near the affected tooth are some common symptoms of an abscess. An oral abscess not only affects your gum and tooth but, left untreated, it can also damage the jawbone structure and pulp. Bacteria may seep into the bloodstream and cause blood infection also known as sepsis. Your Morgan Street Dentist Wagga can diagnose and treat the abscess by draining the pus and treating you with antibiotics before it causes serious health complications.
4. Prevent cavities
Cavities are common among children and teenagers but do occur in adults. Plaque buildup and tartar formation are the main causes of cavities. The acid produced by the bacteria contained in plaque attacks the tooth's enamel and gradually breaks it down. The result is a cavity. Mouth Healthy describes a cavity as a tiny hole in the tooth's enamel. Early treatment with dental fillings can prevent further decay, teeth loss, and the need for costly dental procedures such as root canals, dental implants, or bridges.
5. Keeps your teeth and smile
Adults have only one set of teeth so it's important to care for them in order to prevent tooth loss or tarnish your smile. Tooth loss can be embarrassing and cause you to feel less confident about your appearance. Missing teeth interfere with biting, tearing, and chewing foods in preparation for digestion in the stomach. Food contact with the gum can irritate the gum and increase the risk of swelling and infection. Your teeth also help give your face its shape and maintain facial symmetry. They allow you to speak and pronounce words properly. With all this in mind, it makes sense to take special care of them every day.
6. Reduces the risks of health conditions
According to MayoClinic, good oral health reduces certain health risks. Studies show that certain medical conditions may develop when people do not practice good oral hygiene. These conditions include endocarditis and cardiovascular diseases such as blocked arteries, heart disease, and stroke. Endocarditis happens when bacteria from an oral infection in the gum travels to the bloodstream and to the lining of the heart. Poor oral health in pregnant women has also been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. Among those at risk of health complications associated with poor dental hygiene are diabetics and people with HIV/AIDS.
7. Saves money on expensive dental care
Dental treatment outside of routine dental examinations and cleanings can be quite costly, particularly for those who have partial or no dental insurance coverage. A persistent lack of good dental hygiene creates a domino effect. It starts with plaque and tartar leading to gum infection, abscess, or cavity, and then the need for corrective treatment. You may require fillings or a root canal depending on the severity of the infection or tooth decay. Extraction may become necessary in cases where the tooth cannot be saved. If you choose to replace damaged or missing teeth, you can end up spending thousands of dollars on procedures such as implants and bridges. Many insurance providers do not cover tooth replacement. This means you will have to pay out of pocket.
The bottom line is to brush, floss, rinse, avoid sugary foods and drinks, and see your dentist regularly. You'll be able to keep your teeth and your smile and avoid health complications in return for your commitment to good dental health!