People are routinely encouraged to exercise and eat healthy meals in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, oral hygiene usually takes a backseat to these dominant topics. It is extremely important to take care of our oral health as it can affect a person’s quality of life. Experiencing oral health problems such as oral pain, missing teeth or oral infections can influence the way a person speaks, eats and socializes. These health problems can reduce a person’s quality of life by affecting their physical, mental and social well-being.
It is important to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth daily to remove bacteria and food particles that a toothbrush cannot reach. If you do not floss, you are missing more than one-third of your tooth surface. Plaque is the main cause of gum disease. Plaque can be described as an invisible bacterial film that develops on your teeth every day.
It only takes 24-36 hours for this plaque to harden into tartar (also known as calculus), which can then only be removed by professional cleaning. Getting into the habit of flossing is easier when you floss while doing something else like watching TV or listening to music.
Sometimes, gums bleed when you first begin to floss. However, if flossing is continuing being done, the bleeding will cease after a few days. If bleeding does not subside, see your dentist as it could indicate other oral health concerns.
It has been proven through research that there is a correlation between oral disease and other health related problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, respiratory illness in older adults, as well as pre-term and low-birth-weight babies. More and more evidence is showing that oral disease can aggravate other health problems and that keeping a healthy mouth is an important part of leading a healthy life.
Just as a person should take care of any other health concerns, maintaining a healthy mouth should also be taken into consideration. It is important to maintain regular dental visits for cleaning and dental exams in order to help prevent small problems from getting worse. Your dental hygienists and dentist have the training and experience to detect health related concerns early.