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Clean Teeth for a Healthy Life: The Importance of Dental Hygiene

Father and son who appreciate the importance of dental hygiene brushing their teeth

A healthy mouth doesn’t happen on its own. You need to take direct care of your teeth and gums to keep them cavity-free and reduce your chances of gum disease. There are a lot of reasons you should appreciate the importance of dental hygiene – especially because it plays a bigger role than you may think! 

Read on to discover the key reasons your dental hygiene is a worthy endeavor, along with some tips to help you maintain healthy teeth throughout your life! 

You Only Have One Set of Permanent Teeth 

If there’s only one reason to appreciate the importance of dental hygiene, it’s that you only get one chance with your natural set of permanent teeth. These teeth need to last you from your early teens through your golden years! 

During these decades, your teeth will be assaulted by bacteria, acidic foods or beverages and even potentially physical trauma. If you lose a permanent tooth you can have it replaced with an implant, but it’s always best to keep your natural teeth as long as you can. The challenges and potential risks of missing a tooth are significant, and all it takes to keep your teeth healthy is a few minutes per day and the occasional visit to your dentist! 

Avoid Painful Cavities 

When bacteria are allowed to wear through the enamel in your teeth, you’re exposed to painful sensations throughout the day. These can range from mild, pulsating annoyances to crippling shocks of extreme pain and nauseaDepending on the severity of the cavity, they can be triggered by all sorts of common things: 

  • Pressure from chewing 
  • Hot or cold temperatures 
  • Sweet foods or drinks 

Living with cavity pain can be more than an inconvenience, it can also cause you to develop unhealthy habits. If cold or crunchy foods hurt, you may eat fewer fresh fruits and vegetables, opting for softer carbohydrates that can introduce more sugar into your diet. You may also start to chew dominantly on a side, leading to uneven wear on your teeth that can exacerbate dental health issues. 

Improve Your Body’s Health 

While you may think of dental hygiene as only caring for your teeth, it plays a role in the health of your cardiovascular system and other parts of your body. More and more research comes out every year connecting your oral health and the health of the rest of your body. While the connections aren’t fully understood, the links between those with poor oral hygiene and other health problems are indisputable. 

There are several conditions that research shows carry an association with the results of poor dental care. A build-up of plaque that leads to inflammation can worsen or may even be one cause of issues like cardiovascular disease, complications from diabetes, and even premature birth! 

Enjoy a Confidence Boost 

Lastly, the importance of dental hygiene isn’t just for your physical health! It also helps you with your mental health. Confidence and self-esteem are important to letting you live your life with less social anxiety. Having a healthy set of teeth makes you less concerned with smiling in public, speaking with others, or worrying about bad breath. 

These improvements in your self-esteem can have a major effect on your daily life. Parents of younger children who are developing their social skills should be aware of how important this can be in their child’s daily social interactions as well! 

The Best Steps for Preventive Dental Care 

Two Minutes of Brushing, Twice Per Day 

When it comes to dental hygiene, brushing is the most important thing you can do every day. But even those who brush regularly aren’t necessarily getting the most out of their brushing sessions! The ADA recommends that you brush for about two minutes and brush once in the morning and once in the evening. 

Brushing for two minutes gives you enough time to thoroughly clean away all the surfaces of your teeth. This includes the front, top, and back of your teeth. If you can, it’s a good idea to brush your tongue while you’re at it! 

Every time you brush, the bristles clean bacteria off your teeth that would otherwise harden into plaque. The longer bacteria have to harden on your teeth, the more challenging it is to remove them. Eventually, plaque and tartar will require a dentist’s specialized tools to clear away! Proper brushing stops plaque from having a chance to form. 

Schedule Regular Dental Check-ups 

Even dentists, who know their oral health well, have other dentists examine their teeth! There are certain parts of dental hygiene that you simply can’t monitor yourself. Decay can develop in hard-to-see pockets and some issues may form beneath the surface where an x-ray is the only way to catch it early.  

No matter how well you take care of your oral health, regular dental check-ups are important for dental hygiene and your long-term health. It’s common for cavities to form without any symptoms. It’s often when the cavities become extreme that you finally notice them yourself. Your dentist, on the other hand, can identify the signs very early, giving you a chance to reverse the damage without needing treatment like fillings or crowns. 

Avoid Sugary Foods & Drinks 

Our brains tend to crave food or drinks high in sugar due to the high energy content available. However, your body isn’t the only thing that feeds off sugar – bacteria in your mouth uses it as fuel too! The more sugar you have in your diet, the faster bacteria in your mouth will cause damage to your enamel. 

There’s nothing wrong with sugary treats from time to time. But stay aware of how much sugar you have! And consider washing down sugary foods or drinks with plenty of water. A glass of water following a favorite chocolate snack can help remove most of the sugary remnants from your candy, with the rest coming off when you brush later that night. 

Do You Have Dental Health Questions? Schedule an Appointment!  

If you have dental health concerns or just looking for information, the professionals at Walbridge Dental provide complete family dental care to families in the Millbury community. Contact us online to set up an appointment now or call us at 419-836-1033.  

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