The importance of dental care
Whether you are 8 or 80 years old, your oral health is extremely important. Oral health touches every aspect of our lives but is often taken for granted. Your mouth is a window to the health of your entire body and can sometimes be the first indicator of infection or disease when lesions or cysts develop. While many Americans regularly maintain their oral health, cavities remain the most prevalent chronic childhood disease. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), over 100 million Americans fail to see a dentist every year.
Many people believe that they only need to see a dentist if they are in pain or believe something is wrong, but regular dental visits contribute to a lifetime of good oral health and can detect issues before they become larger problems.
Risks of poor oral hygiene
Poor hygiene can cause bad breath and a number of serious health problems, such as:
- Cardiovascular disease. The bacteria from gum inflammation and periodontal disease can enter your bloodstream, travel to your heart, and cause atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The inner lining of the heart can also become infected and inflamed, a condition known as endocarditis.
- Dementia. Bacteria from gingivitis can enter the brain through either nerve channels in the head or through the bloodstream, and may even develop into Alzheimer’s disease.
- Respiratory infections. Gum disease can lead to lung infections, including pneumonia.
- Diabetic complications. Gum inflammation and periodontal disease can make it harder to control your blood sugar, making diabetes symptoms worse. People who suffer from diabetes are also more susceptible to periodontal disease.
- Pregnancy issues. Periodontitis has been linked to low birth weight and premature birth.
Call our office or stop in to schedule an appointment with our team. We are happy to demonstrate how to properly clean your teeth as well as schedule regular cleanings in the future.
Oral hygiene techniques
- Brush twice per day for 2 minutes. Don’t forget your tongue!
- Use a fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush with soft bristles. An electric toothbrush is even better because it removes more plaque than a manual one.
- Brush gently in circular motions.
- Rinse your toothbrush with water after use, and store it upright and uncovered.
- Use about 18 inches of floss in a teeter-totter (not a sawing) motion one tooth at a time.
- Use a mouthwash that contains fluoride after brushing and flossing for an exceptional clean!