Caring for teeth and gums importance cannot be stressed enough, because just in case you were not already aware of the utter importance of teeth, here is a brief recap; teeth provide our faces with structure, they help us chew and digest food and help us talk and pronounce different sounds. They form one of our greatest assets, our healthy smiles and so it is in our best interests to take the best possible care of our teeth to prevent tooth decay.
Importance of taking care of your dental health
A healthy smile has its aesthetic benefits providing us with confidence in our visual appearance which in turn gives us a mental boost with a positive mindset. However, a healthy smile and good oral health have even more benefits which have an impact on our overall health.
Prevent diseases and serious dental conditions
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy and clean will help prevent gum disease and tooth decay as well as to a degree the threat of oral cancer. When you eat food containing sugars and starches it causes the bacteria in the plaque to form acids which attack your tooth enamel. Unless cleaned thoroughly the tooth enamel breaks down because of the acids from the plaque, forming a cavity or hole. Gum disease is caused by the build up of plaque, a film of bacteria that forms over the teeth. This plaque hardens into tartar and forms near the gumline which causes the gums to recede from the teeth and become irritated and infected. In its severe form gum disease can cause teeth to fall out.
Effect on overall health
Something you may not know is that your oral health has a direct impact on your overall health. Bad dental hygiene means an excess of bacteria in the mouth which can get into the bloodstream. It can cause blood to thicken which in turn causes blood clots which make it harder for the heart to work which can lead to heart attacks. It can also cause inflammation of the blood vessels which blocks the supply of blood to the brain, a primary cause for strokes. There is new research that points to gum disease leading to diabetes.
Simply, you can greatly reduce the risk of these potential life threatening diseases by practicing good oral hygiene.
Prevent bad breath
Bad breath or halitosis is caused by food particles that are left in the mouth which breakdown into bacterial with sulphur compounds. Regular brushing and flossing and using mouthwash can help avoid bad breath. Keeping your mouth hydrated throughout the day helps prevent bad odours as well.
Helps with chewing food and speaking
Looking after your teeth and gums helps maintain strong teeth and gums that are not sensitive or sore. This is what you need to chew your food thoroughly that helps with good digestion. Strong teeth also help you speak and articulate well.
When you have strong healthy teeth you can smile with confidence. A great smile provides a great boost to our self-esteem as it is one of the best natural accessories we have that helps us navigate and negotiate daily life with a sense of contentment. You will appreciate not having to be shy of your teeth and being able to smile spontaneously, which is why it is so important to look after your teeth.
How do you take care of your teeth?
Maintaining good oral hygiene is the only way to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. While we all know that brushing your teeth twice a day and using dental floss are good habits to have, it is also very important that you use the correct techniques so that all your efforts are effective.
Use a soft bristle tooth brush with fluoride toothpaste and be sure not to brush too vigorously as it can damage your tooth enamel and gums. Gently brush your teeth and gums using small circular motions everywhere from the front, back and top of every tooth. Circular brushing is more effective than a back and forth motion that does not properly remove plaque from gums and the top of your teeth.
Flossing just once a day, preferably at night is enough. It helps remove food particles and debris that have got stuck between the teeth that your tooth brush cannot reach. It is recommended that you gently push the floss to the gumline before hugging the floss to the side of the tooth, with an up and down motion at a 45 degree angle, to dislodge particles.
When it comes to food and drinks obviously there are those that are not so good for your oral health such as sugary foods. But we cannot avoid sweet treats all the time so just be sure to brush your teeth after indulging or at least drink a lot of water to wash as much of the stickiness away.
How do you take care of your gums?
Using these same tips will be beneficial to your gums as well. Additionally you can include a mouthwash into your routine to prevent a pocket or film of bacteria build up along the gums. Avoid smoking as that is very bad for your gums and general oral health. You can always tell if your gums are not healthy if you suffer soreness or bleeding from the gums.
How often should you visit a dentist to ensure optimal dental health?
Experts usually recommend you visit a dental hygienist once in six months for long term benefits. Your dental hygienist will check your teeth and gums for any signs of cavities, gum disease and other potential oral health issues. They will also do routine cleaning to remove the film of bacteria build up and remove any plaque and hardened tartar. Going for regular dental visits is one of the best ways of maintaining good oral health.
If you are not already doing this, then you should really start incorporating dental visits into your schedule. It is best to prevent any potential issues with once in six month visits, rather than have to spend a lot of time and money on remedying or correcting any issues that can come up. Early detection will help early prevention, something you will be thankful for in the long run.
Looking after your teeth and gums and preventing potential health issues is not difficult. By cultivating a daily dental cleaning habit you can enjoy healthy and strong teeth and gums. The importance of looking after your assets, your gums and teeth, cannot be stressed enough as it provides so many benefits to your daily life. From giving you a brilliant smile, to helping you look and feel good, to helping you speak and chew your food properly to not adversely affecting your overall health, the benefits are immense.
You owe it to yourself to take good care of your teeth and gums so that you enjoy a good life with confidence, free from painful teeth or sore gums. Your natural teeth should last you a long time and other than for unforeseen problems or accidents, with the proper care you should be able to maintain them well.