Dental hygiene. It’s not exactly the sexiest topic but there are many things appealing about having a healthy mouth. Most of us are guilty of flossing too infrequently or even doing a poor job at brushing our teeth because we are so rushed. It really only takes a couple minutes to do it right and, more and more, studies are showing us the importance of taking good care of our pearly whites. Let’s look at some examples to get motivated!
You Only Get One Set of Teeth
Adult teeth anyway. Your adult teeth are with you for life – or as long as they are properly cared for. Of course, people have accidents and lose teeth but, for the most part, tooth loss is caused by neglect. In addition to cavities, when we fail to floss and brush regularly we put ourselves at risk for periodontal disease such as gingivitis which, unfortunately can lead to more serious things (keep reading!).
Halitosis (Bad Breath)
This may seem minor, but imagine last time you encountered someone with bad breath. You tried to stay away from them, right? Were you inclined to kiss them, engage them in conversation or share a meal? Probably not. You don’t want to be on the receiving end of this and become a social pariah. You never know when the right guy/girl, job or opportunity will present itself – don’t let bad breath ruin a good thing!
It Gets Costly
Going to the dentist is expensive enough but when you need more than the routine treatments, the cost can really add up. Some people even end up skimping in this area (you will know them by the gaps in their smiles). When a tooth has rotted to the point that it needs to be removed, many can’t afford the cost of replacing it with an implant or another dental device. This really is a situation when an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Probably the most important reason for keeping your mouth healthy relates to the newer research drawing a link between gum disease and heart health. In fact, the American Academy of Periodontology asserts that those with periodontal disease are actually twice as likely to suffer from heart disease. In another study, it was shown that gum disease, missing teeth and cavities were just as reliable as indicators of heart disease as measuring cholesterol levels. When you are modifying your diet and exercise routine, don’t forget to include your toothbrush!
Prevent or Combat Periodontal Disease
There’s no complex plan to follow, it’s really quite simple. Brush and floss every day to remove the bacteria that cause gum disease and schedule an appointment to see your dentist once a year for check-ups (or sooner if you are having pain or other symptoms). It could save your smile and your life!