You’ve been told time and time again how important it is to brush your teeth. It’s recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to maintain a healthy mouth. However, you may think that skipping brushing at night or only flossing once a week can do the trick. It can have a bigger impact than you realize, though.
Why should everyone be diligent about their oral health, and how can it impact you long-term? Here are 10 reasons why you should stress the importance of good oral health in your daily life.
Reason 1: It Impacts Your Overall Health
One of the biggest reasons to recognize the importance of good oral health is because oral health impacts your overall health. If your oral health is suffering, then your physical health will likely suffer too. Poor oral health is linked to conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Gum disease has also been linked to pregnancy complications such as premature birth and low-birth-weight babies. Poor oral health can also cause your teeth to ache and cause you to feel discomfort in your mouth.
To avoid poor oral health, seek dental services once every six months. This is the recommended frequency for people with good to average oral health. If you have poor dental health, you may be asked to visit more frequently. It depends on the condition of your oral health and how it can be repaired.
If you realize your oral health is less than ideal, make an appointment with your doctor as well. If you have serious gum disease or your teeth are starting to decay, it may be a sign that there’s a bigger underlying health issue. Talk to your doctor about your oral health so they can get a full picture of what your overall health may look like.
Reason 2: It Prevents Tooth Decay
When talking about the importance of good oral health, you have to talk about the prevention of tooth decay. Taking care of your oral hygiene is the best way to prevent your teeth from breaking down and becoming damaged. Tooth decay happens when teeth start to lose important minerals and start to wear down. Decay can start happening when too much harmful bacteria makes its way onto teeth. Bad bacteria feeds on sugar or starchy substances that are left on your teeth, which can lead to the production of plaque. If this plaque hardens and is left on your teeth for too long, it can break down your teeth over time.
To avoid tooth decay, make sure you keep up on dental hygiene best practices. Keeping up with your oral health will also prevent you from having to get certain procedures done, such as root canals. It’s also recommended to avoid eating an excess of sugar and limit consumption of snacks like crackers and pretzels.
Reason 3: It Helps You Avoid Gum Disease
Another reason to remember the importance of good oral health is that having good oral health helps you avoid developing gum disease. Gum disease typically develops when plaque develops on your teeth and infects the tissue in the gums. Signs of gum disease include bleeding gums and an overall sore feeling in your mouth. If you notice your gums are swollen and bleeding when you brush, you may have early stages of gum disease. If it’s gingivitis, a good cleaning and improved dental hygiene could reverse it. If left untreated, poor gum health can lead to an advanced gum disease called periodontitis.
If you suspect you have any level of gum disease, visit your dentist right away. They will examine your gums and let you know what your next steps should be. Dealing with gum disease may seem like a lot at first, but ignoring it could have serious consequences. Prolonged and ignored gum disease could lead to you losing a tooth or two. It can also cause you to have issues eating and chewing down the line. The sooner you deal with gum disease, the sooner you can get healthier.
Reason 4: It Makes Your Teeth Whiter
Paying attention to your oral health can improve the color of your teeth. Your teeth can become discolored depending on what you eat and drink. For example, if you drink coffee every morning, your teeth can become discolored due to a compound that stains teeth. Wine can also stain teeth. Smoking can cause your teeth to become discolored due to the car and other chemicals in cigarettes.
Brushing your teeth twice a day can help fight discoloration. Diligently brushing can help remove stains and remove discoloring plaque. If you notice your smile is becoming discolored, you can brush your teeth with teeth whitening toothpaste. You can also invest in whitening strips if you want to whiten your smile. Be cautious about how often you whiten your teeth, as too much whitening in a short amount of time could harm your enamel. If you don’t want to spend money on whitening strips, you can also brush your teeth with charcoal toothpaste. Charcoal toothpaste has an active ingredient that can whiten teeth. If you do decide to brush with charcoal toothpaste, make sure you know how it can impact your enamel and how often you should use it.
Reason 5: It Helps Fight Bad Breath
Maintaining good oral health also helps keep your breath fresh. Sticking to a routine that constantly cleans your mouth and rids it of bacteria will help fight bad breath from developing. In addition to brushing and flossing, you can also use mouthwash to keep your breath fresh. If you suspect you have a chronic case of bad breath, you could ask a dental professional about seeking oral treatment that can help curb it.
Bad breath can also be a sign of tooth decay or gum disease. If there’s too much bad bacteria in your mouth, it could do damage and cause your breath to smell more than usual. If you’re worried that there’s too much bad bacteria in your mouth, tell your dentist about your concerns. They may be able to prescribe you toothpaste of mouthwash that can help clean the bacteria better than your regular oral health supplies.
Reason 6: It Fights Tooth Sensitivity
Another reason to focus on the importance of good oral health is that it helps fight tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity occurs when your tooth enamel is worn down. Sometimes, the enamel can be so worn down that the root is exposed. Symptoms of tooth sensitivity include pain while eating, seemingly random sharp pain in your teeth, and pain when drinking or eating something hot or cold. This can cause you to limit eating or drinking some of your favorite foods just to feel some relief.
Staying on top of your oral health can help lower your risk of developing tooth sensitivity. The more you brush away harmful bacteria, the more likely you’ll prevent plaque from developing. The less plaque develops, the less likely you’ll enamel will wear down. You should also limit the acidic foods you eat, as acidic foods can contribute to a worn enamel. Until you see the dentist, you can help curb the tooth sensitivity by avoiding foods and drinks that are too hot or too cold.
Reason 7: It Prevents Cavities
When discussing the importance of good oral health, something to keep in mind is that sticking to your brushing and flossing schedule can prevent cavities. Cavities occur when small holes develop on the surface of your teeth due to decay. You may notice your teeth feel more sensitive than normal, or even some pain in your teeth. Sometimes, you may not even have symptoms of cavities, which is why it’s important to keep up with your regularly scheduled dentist appointments.
Your dentist will tell you if you have a cavity or not. If you skip the dentist visits, you risk letting a cavity go untreated. Untreated dental cavities can cause infection, tooth loss, and severe pain. It may be intimidating to think of having a hole in your tooth, but your dentist will be able to layout cavity treatments that work best for you. Some people associate cavities with childhood, but cavities can also form in adulthood. Don’t assume that your teeth are safe from cavities because of your age. You may think they’re stronger, but they could actually be more vulnerable.
Reason 8: It Can Save You Money
Stressing the importance of good oral health can also help you save money down the line. Dental procedures can be expensive. On average, a root canal can cost more than $1,000 out of pocket if you don’t have dental insurance. If you have advanced gum disease that requires surgery, the procedure could cost anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars, depending on how severe your gum disease is. Maintaining your oral health is an inexpensive way to avoid potentially shelling out thousands of dollars in dental procedures.
The same logic can be applied if you have pets. Depending on the state of your pet’s dental health, dental procedures could cost you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. Call your veterinarian office and be sure you know the best dental practices for your pet. Veterinary dentistry is different from human dentistry, so you want to ensure you know the proper procedures.
Reason 9: It Helps You Build Better Habits
The importance of good oral health cannot be stressed enough, since it’s so important to your overall health. Oral health upkeep and focusing on dental care can also help you build better habits. It’s recommended that people brush their teeth twice a day and floss daily. You can also use mouthwash once a day to maintain your gum and tooth health.
Once you develop those healthy oral habits, you can build other healthy habits too. You can take a daily multivitamin, schedule a daily walk to get your exercise and plan healthy meals that positively contribute to your dental health. Building a solid foundation for healthy dental habits can help you build other healthy habits in your daily life.
Reason 10: It Boosts Your Confidence
Knowing the importance of good oral health is essential for your overall health, but it can also boost your confidence. A lot of people pride themselves on their appearance, and part of your appearance is your smile. If you aren’t happy with your smile, your confidence could take a hit. You may not want to smile to avoid showing your teeth or gums. After a while, this view of your smile could take its toll on your self-esteem.
Having healthy teeth and healthy gums leads to a healthy smile. The better you take care of your smile, the more likely you’ll want to show it off. The more you smile, the better you’ll feel. If you do want to change your smile, there are plenty of options out there. You can call a professional in cosmetic dentistry to see what your options are. It’s your smile, so be sure you know all the options that work best for you.
There are a lot of reasons to focus on the importance of good oral health. One of the biggest reasons is that the health of your teeth and gums is tied to your overall health. If your oral health isn’t in good condition, you’re risking your physical health. It can be easy to ignore brushing your teeth twice a day or flossing each day, but doing so can have a serious impact on your health if you aren’t careful.
Taking care of your oral health doesn’t have to be a huge hurdle in your daily life. Remember to brush, floss, and use mouthwash daily. Don’t skip your dentist appointments. If you suspect something is wrong, go see a dentist and be honest about what you’re experiencing. Try to limit foods and drinks that can cause bad bacteria to infect your gums and teeth. The more you keep up with your oral health now, the better your chances of having a healthy smile for years to come.