3 Important Ways to Maintain Your Long-Term Dental Hygiene
Did you know that your daily brushing can prevent a heart attack? It’s true. Studies have shown that those who brushed their teeth regularly were three times less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke.
You see, good dental hygiene is so crucial that your life depends on it. This is because your oral health is interconnected with all of the other systems in your body.
That means that if you want to live a long and healthy life, you must learn how to take good care of your teeth. So continue reading to learn more about how you can achieve excellent oral health.
Why Is Dental Hygiene Important?
Oral health plays a massive role in both your body and mind’s health.
One such example is the relationship between your mouth and your digestion system. Your mouth is digestion’s first stop. If it isn’t up to the task, your nutrition will suffer.
For example, if you have a problem area that you avoid when you eat, you probably aren’t chewing your food very well as a result.
Then, as you digest your partially chewed meal, you may experience heartburn or an upset stomach. This happens because your digestion system is only equipped for well-chewed food. Long term, this can cause ulcers and other digestive issues.
Other documented connections are between your heart and your mouth. Doctors believe that excess buildup of plaque due to poor oral hygiene can cause infections and inflammation in your heart.
1. Make Oral Health Apart of Your Self-Care Routine
A complete dental hygiene routine is a sure way to keep cavities and infected gums away.
You may already practice regular brushing, but you may be brushing incorrectly. The best way to brush is to angle your brush towards your gums and to use gentle circular motions to brush away the tartar from your teeth and gum line. The ideal toothbrush should be soft or medium so that you don’t brush away your gums and cause recession.
Brushing is not enough; your routine isn’t complete without flossing your teeth at least once daily. Flossing helps get all of the tartar that your toothbrush will leave behind. If you have gum disease, your doctor may also recommend a prescription mouthwash to rinse with to help keep your gums healthy.
2. Nix Bad Habits
There are a few common habits that have negative impacts on your dental health. One of the most harmful things you can do to your mouth, not to mention the rest of your body, is smoking.
With smoking, the worst-case scenario is oral cancer. Treatment for this cancer may include radiation therapy and surgery. In addition, some patients lose their tongue or part of their jaw and need a custom-made prosthesis to live a full life.
However, there are a lot of oral health consequences from smoking besides cancer. For example, cigarette smoke causes gum recession and eventually periodontal disease. This causes your teeth to loosen, finally falling out.
If you are interested in quitting, there is no better time to start than now. There are many smoking cessation programs, and one may work for you.
Another common habit is drinking a lot of sugary beverages. If you’re the type of person who likes their coffee light and sweet, you might be causing future preventable cavities. When you sip your sweet coffee over several hours, you bathe your teeth in a warm concoction of cavity juice.
Luckily, you don’t have to give up your coffee. Instead, try cutting down the sugar with the goal of eliminating it, and remember to rinse thoroughly after every cup.
Watch Out for These Other Harmful Habits
Bruxism, or grinding, is caused by anxiety and stress. If you aren’t sure if you’re a grinder, waking up with pain and tenderness around your jaw is one tell-tale sign. Another sign is if you experience headaches or symptoms that mirror TMJ.
Grinding your teeth wears their enamel down, and in the most severe cases, teeth can be worn down to the gum line.
Alleviating your stress is the best way to tackle the problem at the source. In the meantime, you can try to catch yourself while doing it, or your dentist can create a protective custom nightguard to use while you sleep.
3. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Even expert brushers and flossers need professional attention. That’s because your dentist does a lot more than clean your teeth.
During your visit, your doctor may start by taking a set of x-rays. This is how your doctor will spot any decay invisible to the naked eye. Next, they examine your teeth, gums, and other soft tissues to ensure that everything is healthy.
Many dental offices will also offer life-saving oral cancer screenings. Seeing your doctor regularly ensures that your teeth and gums stay healthy for many years to come. Don’t worry if it’s been a few years since your last appointment; your dental office is a judgment-free zone.
Break Down Barriers to Oral Health
For a healthy body, dental hygiene should be a top priority. So if dental anxiety has prevented you from seeking the care you need, then you should visit a dental office that specializes in treating phobic patients.
At Champaign Dental Group in Urbana, OH, we designed our office with your comfort in mind. We offer a stress-free, pain-free experience for all of our patients. For those with anxiety, we offer sedation dentistry so that it’s possible to treat years of neglect in one or two visits.
When you’re ready, request an appointment and learn how we can work together to achieve your oral health goals.