Most of us grew up learning to brush our teeth twice a day and floss regularly, but as we get older, it’s easy to forget the importance of good oral hygiene habits. Our oral hygiene impacts our bodies ability to fight off diseases, our ability to manage chronic illnesses such as Diabetes and Heart Disease and can even determine the likelihood that pregnant women will give birth to a healthy baby. In fact, much of our overall health and well-being is linked to our oral hygiene, so it’s important to create and maintain healthy habits.
What is Good Oral Hygiene?
According to the Mayo Clinic, to maintain good oral health, you need to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes a day. It’s important to use a soft bristle brush to reduce the chances of cutting or abrading your gums. It’s also important to hold your toothbrush at a slight angle while brushing. this helps you to get any plaque hiding between your teeth and gum-line. Toothbrushes don’t last forever, so the Mayo Clinic recommends we replace our toothbrush at least every three months, or sooner if the bristles start to fray or break off.
In addition to brushing correctly, we should floss everyday using at least eighteen inches of dental floss or a disposable floss pick. Using a mouthwash that contains fluoride can also help improve your overall oral health. Also, there is one thing that most people do that the Mayo Clinic does not recommend, and that is brushing after you eat. This can be counterproductive because it often puts your teeth in contact with additional acid that can break down your enamel and cause trouble down the road.
Our mouths have an automatic system that helps us maintain overall health, and that is saliva. Saliva, or spit contains enzymes that destroy bacteria and often serve as our first line of defense against viral and bacterial infections like the common cold the flu, and oral yeast infections, also called thrush. Maintaining good oral hygiene helps our saliva do its job of keeping our bodies healthy.
Oral Early Warning System
In cases of long term illness or autoimmune diseases like HIV/AIDS, our mouths can serve as an early warning system. Oral health also helps let medical professionals see the first signs of systemic diseases like diabetes as well. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, over 90 percent of systemic diseases show oral symptoms early on in the disease.
The average person is so stressed with life that they forget to take good care of their oral health. Basic oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing after every meal are easily forgotten. And when they are not forgotten they are done improperly. Then, when it is time to go to the dentist the tartar and plaque have been built up. This is the importance of going to the dentist.
Good oral hygiene also helps prevent plaque, which plays a vital role in overall health and wellbeing. Plaque causes gum disease, and gum disease has been linked to some serious medical conditions, including but not limited to diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and fetal health issues like preterm births and low fetal birth weight.
So, be sure to teach your little ones and you can even learn for yourself that in order to maintain healthy habits, you’re going to have to commit for the rest of your life. And you can easily do so by simply brushing after each meal, reducing your sugar intake and flossing on a regular basis. If you leave in Fort Lauderdale, make sure your local Fort Lauderdale Dentist in your area.