Many patients don’t realize that taking time to maintain their smiles by brushing and flossing daily and seeing their dentist at least twice a year, they’re doing their entire bodies a favor. A healthy mouth truly is the gateway to a healthy body.
For example, the same inflammation associated with gum disease appears to be related to other systemic conditions like diabetes and heart disease, as well as other health concerns. Teeth lost to decay can compromise your ability to eat a wide variety of nutrients from your diet. If you want to maintain optimum oral and overall health, here are some suggestions to keep your smile in tip-top shape.
Use proper form when you brush your teeth. You may think that it’s good enough to run a toothbrush over your teeth for 30 seconds or so, but unless your brushing thoroughly along the gumline (and holding your brush at a 45-degree angle when doing so) and brushing for two minutes twice a day, you may not be doing everything possible to reduce the presence of plaque and oral bacteria in your smile.
Don’t wait until an urgent issue develops before seeing your dentist: Severe pain or other concerns likely indicate an advanced oral disease, such as a large cavity. Even milder discomfort may be related to a major problem. Stay on top of your oral health by getting exams and professional cleanings every six months. This gives your dentist an opportunity to monitor your teeth and gums for concerning symptoms at early stages, when conditions can be treated more conservatively.
A cleaning by a hygienist can clear away any plaque or tartar that accumulates despite your best efforts at brushing and flossing. Plus, the hygienist can access parts of your smile that are difficult for you to reach on your own.
Regular professional dental care in combination with a robust home oral hygiene regimen will protect the health of both your smile and your body. Make sure that you schedule an exam and cleaning if it’s been more than six months since you’ve had your routine check-up.