Oral health and hygiene are as important to your overall health as exercise and a good diet. Regular teeth cleaning, both at home and at the dentist’s office, helps keep harmful bacteria from spreading elsewhere in the body and also prevents decay and tooth loss.
Keeping Your Teeth Healthy
The most important way to keep your teeth healthy is everyday hygiene. This includes daily brushing and flossing. In addition, you might clean your tongue daily to remove even more bacteria. This is particularly helpful if you suffer from halitosis, or bad breath. Mouthwash is another useful addition to your daily routine, as it can eliminate bacteria and plaque, and if you have other issues, such as dry mouth, it can help reduce the symptoms.
It’s also important to visit your dentist regularly, whether or not you see any problems with your teeth. Many dental issues, including gum disease and decay, do not produce symptoms until they have become fairly serious. If you visit your dentist twice a year as recommended, she will provide teeth cleaning, X-rays, and a detailed exam to determine if any problems are developing. If you show symptoms of tooth decay, gingivitis, or gum disease, she will recommend a course of treatment.
The Importance of Dental Hygiene
Keeping your teeth and mouth clean and healthy affects more than just your oral health. Bacteria that build up in the mouth can spread to other areas of the body. Studies have shown that bacteria normally found in the mouth can contribute to cardiovascular disease and inflammation in other areas of the body. Some studies even indicate it might contribute to the development and spread of Alzheimer’s Disease.
In addition to preventing bacteria from spreading out of your mouth, oral hygiene keeps your teeth strong and healthy. If you’ve lost a number of teeth, you’re less likely to eat foods like fresh fruits and vegetables because it’s more difficult with dentures or if you have large gaps. Reducing the types and quality of the food you eat is likely to have a detrimental effect on your overall health.
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