Keeping yourself healthy is essential, and it sometimes takes a considerable effort. Some people may not realize it, but your dental health should get the same intensity of attention as the rest of your body. Dental hygiene is just the beginning of what you can do to prioritize your oral health. Your dental health can significantly impact the health of the other parts of your body.
Dental Care is Essential
According to San Diego Periodontics, poor dental health can lead to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums.) Germs that are on your gums can travel into your mouth and down your throat. Because the entrance to your windpipe is next to your throat, those same germs can spread to your lungs and heart and cause significant damage. Poor dental health can also place you at risk of contracting diabetes.
Brush Your Teeth
You’ve probably been encouraged since childhood to brush your teeth. Brushing your teeth removes plaque (a film of bacteria on your teeth.) Without brushing regularly, the plaque can cause tooth decay and infection. When you brush your teeth, it’s best to use fluoride toothpaste since fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and protects the teeth from cavities.
How to Brush Your Teeth
When brushing your teeth, turn the bristles of your brush toward your gums. Use a circular motion while brushing each tooth. Brush each tooth on each of its sides. End this process by brushing your tongue and rinsing any excess toothpaste out.
Why Flossing Matters
Plaque can lodge between your teeth, and your toothbrush bristles are too thick to reach all the plaque that gathers there. Without flossing, your gums can become red and swollen and begin bleeding. When your gums decline to that stage, your gums are at increased risk for infection. If you need help with how to floss correctly, ask your dentist or your dental hygienist.
How Long to Brush Teeth
According to Today’s Dental, the total time spent by the average American brushing teeth during their lifetime adds up to 38.5 days. According to Humana, you should brush your teeth twice a day. Each time you brush, you should spend two full minutes brushing. As for flossing, you should also spend two minutes on that activity.
About Your Dental Visit
Dentists recommend annual visits for most of their clients. If you are at higher risk for gum disease (as you would if you’re a diabetic), your dentist may need to see you more frequently than yearly. If your mouth is dry (from medication or any other reason), the dentist may give you a fluoride treatment and may also give you a fluoride gel to use at home. You can fortify your teeth at home by drinking fluorinated water to increase your efforts to protect your teeth.
Don’t Smoke or Vape
The tar, nicotine, and smoke in cigarettes can stain your teeth. Nicotine and smoke can also damage your gums. While you might think vaping is healthier than cigarettes, it can be just as harmful. E-cigarettes typically provide 500 puffs, which provides the same effect as 40 to 50 cigarettes.
Whiten Your Smile
If your teeth are less bright than you’d like them to be, ask your dentist about healthy tooth whitening methods. Many commercial products assist with tooth whitening. One natural type of whitening ‘strip’ is banana peels. You can also use baking soda to make toothpaste at home, although it is very astringent (so don’t use it daily.) According to Statista, the international market for teeth whitening products is expected to reach $8.21 billion by 2026.
As you can see, your dental health is essential to your overall health. Establish a good daily dental routine and stick to it. Find a dentist that you trust and visit on an annual basis. Take good care of your teeth and gums because it’s their job to take care of you.