Aside from preventing icky cavities, sore gums, and worse yet… rotten breath, what other benefits is there to promoting good dental habits?
You know this is coming… IT STARTS AT HOME 😉
You take care of your car maintenance on a regular basis right? Tires need air — you run to Sheetz and fill them up. You’ve been driving thousands of miles — time for that $45 oil change. If you didn’t take care of these little things, the bigger things will start to break down.
You see where this is heading… take care of your body and teeth the same with preventive oral health measures. What might be these measures be? Glad you asked!
First: What Causes Tooth Decay (in a nutshell)
Teeth begin to decay when foods containing sugary/starchy carbs, like your favorite bread, late night cereal snacks, colas, etc. sit on your teeth for a bit. The bacteria being hosted in your mouth begin to digest the food, breaking them down into acids, which then begins the plaque building.
The plaque breaks down the enamel, causing cavities — you know, those annoying holes that appear in your teeth, making you scream like a sissy when that sweet Southern Tea washes over it… yeah… you know what I’m talking about.
Well that doesn’t have to be the case. Obviously keep up with your dental exams, you should have the dentist doing those teeth cleanings and watching for signs of gum disease. On top of that, be sure you are properly taking care of your teeth and gums on your own.
A Few Tips on Home Dental Care
- Brush for at least 2 minutes at a minimum of twice a day. Get the gum line but don’t overdo it.
- Floss, floss, floss — it removes the plaque we spoke of above. You didn’t forget already did you? Can’t fit the floss in your hands?! Try a floss holder or the little sticks you can floss and toss 😉
- Not the same as brushing and flossing, but mouth rinse can reduce plaque up to 20%. Be sure you’re not just buying one that makes your breath fresh only!
- What you eat directly affects your dental health. Eat healthy! Look for foods high in vitamins A & C to help keep gum disease at bay.
- If you have some bad fillings, teeth are too close together, or you have the fun habit of grinding your teeth — ask your dentist for help.
- Don’t smoke. Stank breath, oral cancer, gum disease… need I say more?!?
Why You Want to Take Care of Your Teeth
Infections. They’re not fun when your mouth is inflamed and have a chance of affecting your body’s immune system.
When your mouth is inflamed, you are:
- 168% more likely to develop heart disease
- 200% more likely to develop osteoporosis
- 250% more likely to have a stroke
- 300% more likely to develop diabetes
- 500% more likely to develop a respiratory disease
If you notice any signs of gum disease like bleeding while brushing or flossing, tender gums that are red or swollen, gums that pull away from teeth, loose or separating teeth or habitual stinky breath… ask your dentist to discuss your gum health during your regular visit.
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