Good Oral Hygiene is Important to Your Health
Your mouth is full of plaque causing bacteria. If not removed daily, this sticky film can cause cavities and gingivitis- that ultimately can lead to gum (periodontal) disease.
Flossing and brushing your teeth at least twice daily with an ADA recommended fluoride toothpaste followed by a mouth rinse is ideal for keeping your teeth can gums healthy.
How does oral health affect overall health?
Without proper oral hygiene, the bacteria in your mouth can reach levels that lead to oral infections, tooth decay and periodontal disease. The inflammation and bacteria associated with gum disease might play a role in some diseases. Additionally, immunity-lowering diseases like diabetes and HIV/AIDS lower the body’s resistance to infections, increasing the severity of oral issues.
General health conditions linked with oral health:
Oral health may be affected or can affect general health issues. Be sure to tell your dentist if you’re taking any new medications, been diagnosed with diabetes or other illness, or if you have had any changes in your overall health. Here are some common conditions associated with oral health:
- Cardiovascular disease like clogged arteries and stroke
- Premature birth and low birth weights
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Eating disorders
- Mucosal lesions in people with HIV/AIDS
- Periodontal bone loss and tooth loss in people with Osteoporosis
Are you destroying your smile?
When it comes to oral hygiene, here are some things we do that seem right, but can actually harm for our teeth.
Brushing directly after eating.
We are taught us to brush after every meal. However, brushing too soon may actually cause more damage than not brushing after you eat. Acidic foods and beverages like coffee with cream, wine, tomatoes, citrus fruits, etc. can erode tooth enamel. If you brush too soon after consuming them, you may actually be brushing the acid into your teeth not getting rid of it. Rather, it is better to rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating and then brush your teeth about 30 minutes later.
Scrubbing your teeth with a hard bristled brush.
Hard bristled toothbrushes do not clean better. Aggressive brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush can actually cause irreversible damage to your gums. And if you brush back and forth in a sawing motion you can cause your gums to recede, exposing the root or dentin of the tooth- this leads to very sensitive teeth. Instead hold a soft toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and clean your teeth using gentle circular motions.
Using the same toothbrush until your next dental appointment.
Toothbrushes need to be replaced every 3-4 months. Not only are old toothbrushes ineffective for cleaning teeth- especially in the small crevices, but they are full of harmful bacteria that can cause infections. Do not share toothbrushes, and replace them after illness or when they show signs of wear.
Diagnosing Periodontal Disease
Your toothbrush doesn’t get rid of all the food and cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. You need dental floss to get between your teeth. Your gums will toughen up over time, so a little blood and irritation when you first start flossing is normal. Stick with it and you'll have fewer trips to the dentist!
The hygienists at New You Dental are dedicated to helping our patients achieve dazzling smiles and provide the best oral care in Michigan. They are knowledgeable about oral health and have great tips for keeping your smile clean and white in between dental visits. Our hygienists do more than provide excellent cleanings, they committed helping you and your family maintain good oral hygiene so you can keep your teeth as long as possible.
Diagnosing Periodontal Disease