Whats the big deal about oral hygiene?

Healthy smile, healthier you:

Why oral hygiene is so necessary

Visiting your dentist on a regular basis does a lot more than keep a smile on your face and the dentists; it also keeps a smile on your GP. Keeping a regular 6-12 month check up with the dentist can keep you up to date on your health status as new research suggests that the condition of your mouth and oral hygiene emulates your body overall.

Another bonus to keeping your oral hygiene in good check is that if you keep your mouth in the best condition, it can be, it may prevent certain diseases from arising. Recent research has shown that more than 85 percent of all systemic diseases have oral indicators. These include; dry mouth, ulcers in and around the mouth and swollen gums. Some of these diseases include:

  • Oral cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease
  • Systematic cancers
  • Back and neck pain associated with jaw joints

Baby boomers are particularly exposed to developing diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease and the risks increase with age. Symptoms of these conditions can be apparent in the mouth - such as dry mouth, which is an indication of a variety of problems - making dentists key in diagnosing the diseases.
So, what can you do?

The best way for you to ensure you are doing what is required regarding your oral health is to visit your dentist. They can give you advice and tips for things you can do at home and what they can do in the surgery. Visiting your dentist keeps your mouth clean and allows the dentist to observe any developments that may point to other health concerns in the future.

A dental exam can be more beneficial to you than you first anticipated. The dentist can detect growth and development problems, improper jaw alignment, poor nutrition and poor hygiene. Along with cavities that can lead to systematic infections as well as gum disease and many of the health conditions listed above.

It is also highly beneficial to practice good oral hygiene at home. As recommended by Colgate you should exercise the following:

• Brush twice a day to remove dental plaque. Plaque is the sticky film on your teeth, and it is the primary cause of tooth decay and inflammation of the gums called gingivitis. Dentists often recommend a fluoride toothpaste as this mineral has proven abilities to strengthen the tooth enamel.
• Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and under your gumline, before it can harden into tartar. Once tartar has formed, only a dental hygienist can remove it during a professional clean.
• Limit sugary or starchy foods, especially sticky snacks. The more often you snack between meals, the more chances you give bacteria to create the acids that attack your tooth enamel.
• Visit your dentist regularly (every six months) for a check up and clean.

It does benefit to take half an hour out of your day every six months for a routine check up to spot any issues in the early stages when it is reversible, meaning you can reduce your risk of other health problems.