October is National Dental Hygiene month, and although we are nearing the end of the month it’s never too late to raise awareness.
The benefits of proper oral hygiene go far beyond a pretty smile and pleasant breath, but also have many more serious advantages. Oral health awareness should be every day though so keep all of this information in mind when you finish that meal.
It’s simple really. Just brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice daily is a very good start at promoting proper oral hygiene. When you brush don’t just brush your teeth, brush your entire mouth and tongue. This helps remove more of the harmful bacteria that dwell therein.
Although proper brushing itself is the most important step in promoting proper oral hygiene and preventing plaque buildup that can lead to cavities and oral diseases such as gingivitis, it is also a good idea to floss and use mouthwash.
Flossing gets between the teeth and into those hard to reach places that a brush may not be able to get to. Some people find flossing uncomfortable, but with all of the products available today you can try several thicknesses and shapes, waxed or un-waxed, flavored or unflavored, spooled string or floss on a stick type flosses until you find the one that you find best suits you.
Although brushing and flossing removes the majority of the plaque and bacteria that builds up in your mouth daily, using anti-septic mouthwash is an advisable means of finishing up your oral health routine. Using an antiseptic mouthwash helps by killing the harmful bacteria that can cause bad breath or lead to gum disease (gingivitis) that was missed by the brush and floss.
Oral hygiene shouldn’t just be practiced at home. If you are out and running a lot -as many people’s busy lifestyle requires- it is a good idea to keep sugar free gum with you to chew after meals to help keep food particles out of your teeth. These particles are not just food for you but are also food for the bacteria, depriving them of their food source will slow their multiplication.
Now that we have gone over the methods to keep your mouth clean, lets’ look at the reasons why. Poor oral hygiene will, at the very least, cause you to develop one or more of several oral ailments such as tooth decay or periodontal disease (gingivitis). Poor oral hygiene will cause you to have bad breath and it is very likely you will get cavities. These cavities will lead to decaying teeth which not only is like having dragon breath, but the bacteria from the decay can trigger a host of other health issues.
Health issues such as cardiovascular disease (that can lead to heart attack and stroke), respiratory disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, digestive disorders, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, low preterm birth weights, and even obesity have been associated with periodontal disease. It also wreaks havoc on your immune system and if you have an infection in a tooth it can spread into your jaw and damage the bone to the point that you could actually lose your jaw!
So why risk all of these health issues that could be prevented with 5 minutes per day of practicing proper oral hygiene?