Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is more than achieving a beautiful smile and looking physically good. Your oral health is directly connected to your general health. How you take care of your mouth will reflect in your overall health. Any oral problems you’ll encounter will also affect your body. So to reduce your risk of experiencing any dental issues, you must know how to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
But why should you care for your teeth and gums? In this article, you’ll learn four primary reasons you should care for your teeth and gums and how to maintain them. Read on to learn more.
Why You Should Keep Your Teeth And Gums Healthy
You might not have known this, but there’s a close connection between your overall health and your oral health. Here are four reasons you should keep a closer eye on your teeth and gums:
– Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease
One reason you must pay attention to your teeth and gums is to reduce your risk of heart disease. A 2019 study shows that cardiovascular/heart disease is the prime cause of death for men and women worldwide. When the cavities and plaque on your teeth enter your bloodstream, they can clog and build up in your arteries. Clogging in your arteries can lead to atherosclerosis, a deadly type of heart disease.
– Promote Healthier Respiratory Health
Besides your bloodstream, the bacteria and cavities from your mouth can also invade your body and other internal organs through your respiratory system. As you breathe through your mouth, the germs from your mouth can go directly through your lungs and cause respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.
Looking after your gums and teeth can protect your respiratory system from contracting germs and infections. So if you see any plaque buildup or cavities in your teeth, don’t hesitate to visit your dentist to have your gums and teeth cleaned and for more do check out the best cosmetic dentist in Winnipeg. You can also book an appointment online at Village Dental or your local dental clinics for your monthly or bi-yearly teeth cleaning.
– Ensure Healthier Pregnancy
People often say you’re eating and sleeping for two people during pregnancy. But for your dental health, you’re also brushing for two people. Whatever you do to your oral health can directly affect your pregnancy and even your baby’s future oral health.
In the worst case, suffering from mild or severe gum disease can put you at risk of premature labor or low birth weights. Besides meeting your obstetrician, ensure you also see your dentist to check your dental health for any problems. Keeping your gums and teeth healthy during pregnancy can positively affect your future baby’s oral health and overall wellness.
– Achieve A Healthier And Prettier Smile
Perhaps, the best benefit of caring for your oral health is achieving a healthier and more beautiful smile. Often, among the common insecurities of some people is their teeth, which is why some tend to close their mouths when smiling. In a 2019 study with 2,000 respondents, 57% say they cover their mouths when talking or smiling due to their insecurity over their breath’s smell or the appearance of their teeth.
So if you’re insecure about your smile, you have more reason to care for your dental health. With healthier teeth and gums, you’ll also have an amazing smile and fresher breath, which can elevate your confidence and self-esteem.
How To Maintain Healthy Gums And Teeth At Any Age
Now that you know the importance and benefits of boosting your oral health, here are 10 professional tips and dental habits to maintain healthy gums and teeth at all times:
1- Brush For Two Minutes Twice Daily
Sometimes, when you’re in a hurry, you tend to brush your teeth for less than two minutes or skip the whole practice entirely just to catch up with the time. However, if you only spend less than two minutes brushing, you won’t be able to remove the plaque from your teeth, resulting in plaque buildup and potential cavities. If you’ve noticed, most people develop cavities on the back parts of their teeth due to improper brushing habits.
The American Dental Association suggests that you must brush your teeth and tongue twice a day for two minutes. This way, you’ll have enough time to clean your gums, tongue, and teeth. You can also take time to reach the hard corners of your teeth that probably have some plaque buildup left behind.
2- Don’t Overbrush
Although brushing your mouth is necessary, overdoing it can also cause damage to your teeth. Brushing for more than twice a day and longer than four minutes can wear down your teeth’s enamel and increase sensitivity in your teeth and gums.
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3- Floss Your Teeth Once Daily
When creating your oral hygiene routine, another practice you must include in your routine is flossing your teeth once daily. Flossing can help reduce your risk of having cavities and developing gum diseases. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report states that 42.7% of adults over 30 suffer from gum disease. Another CDC report also says that 1 in 4 adults aged 20–64 has at least one cavity. And remember, both cavities and gum diseases can lead to costly dental checkups.
Thus, to reduce your risk or completely avoid cavities and gum diseases, don’t forget to floss your teeth every night before bedtime. Here are other known benefits of flossing once daily:
– Remove bad breath–causing bacteria
– Remove plaque from below the gum line
– Reduce your gum’s risk of soreness, puffiness, and redness
– Helps prevent gingivitis
If you haven’t flossed for a long time, you may notice your gums bleeding when you start flossing again. Bleeding is normal, but this shouldn’t stop you from flossing daily. The bleeding is often light and will stop after a few minutes. Your gums will also stop bleeding once they get used to flossing.
4- Use A Mouth Rinser
Some may say that mouthwashes are just mouth perfumes to enhance your breath’s smell. Although initially true, rinsing your mouth with mouthwash also provides other benefits. Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash can remove any extra food particles left in your mouth. It also prevents tooth decay, gingivitis, plaque, and tartar. Lastly, using mouthwash will help reduce the amount of acid in your mouth and re-mineralize your teeth.
But remember, mouthwash will never be enough substitute for brushing and flossing. They also don’t work as an instant teeth-whitening agent, although that can only happen when you brush, floss your teeth, and attend regular dental checkups. Most dentists will recommend you to use fluoride mouthwash as it can help strengthen your tooth enamel. You may also consult your dentist and seek their recommendations about the best mouthwash brand to use for you.
5- Don’t Forget To Clean And Maintain Your Teeth Appliances
For those who use dental appliances such as retainers, dentures, braces, etc., ensure to include them during your oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing them daily or soaking them in a cleaning solution (for removable teeth appliances). You must also follow the specific instructions provided by your dentist about cleaning and maintaining your dental appliances properly.
6- Use Fluoride Toothpaste
When choosing which toothpaste to use, some people often focus on the toothpaste flavors or the amount of menthol (spiciness) it has. Regardless of the brand or flavor you prefer, make sure you opt for a toothpaste that contains fluoride. One study says that fluoride toothpaste effectively prevents tooth decay and provides extra protection for your teeth and gums from cavities. When brushing your teeth with fluoride, spit out the toothpaste. But don’t rinse immediately so the fluoride can stay on your mouth longer and provide a protective barrier.
7- Reduce Consumption Of Sugary And Acidic Foods and Drinks
Besides following an oral hygiene regimen, dental professionals also recommend being mindful of what you eat or drink. Frequent consumption of sugary and acidic food and beverages can put your mouth at risk of more plaque and cavities. Sugary foods can easily convert into acid in your mouth, which will erode your teeth enamel and lead to cavities. You might even feel plaque building up in your teeth right away after consuming sugary foods. Meanwhile, acidic drinks, fruits, and coffee can wear down your tooth enamel.
Although you don’t need to completely avoid all sugary and acidic foods together, minimizing and being mindful of the amount you consume can help in maintaining your teeth and gums’ health for the long term.
8- Drink More Water
It’s no surprise that water is the healthiest and most recommended beverage for boosting your overall health, including your teeth and gums. Drinking water will keep your cell tissues hydrated, including your gum tissues. Healthy gum tissues make your mouth more resilient against bacteria and infection. Water also improves your mouth’s saliva production, which reduces gum infection risk.
Furthermore, drinking water after every meal can help wash away any food particles and debris left in your mouth. This is necessary, especially if you recently just ate some acidic or sticky food and beverages.
9- Avoid Smoking And Alcohol
Smoking is among the most harmful habits to your body, especially dental health. This habit can cause tartar and plaque buildup, tooth decay, teeth discoloration, and oral cancer. Similarly, alcohol also brings adverse effects to your oral health. Alcohol can dry or dehydrate your mouth, reducing saliva production and causing germs and cavities to spread and multiply in your mouth quickly. So, if possible, minimize or cut out smoking and alcohol to preserve your dental health.
10- See Your Dentist Twice A Year
Perhaps the most crucial part of maintaining teeth and gums is seeing your dentist at least every six months or twice a year. Your dentist will perform an oral examination to check any plaque buildup, cavities, tooth decay, and any potential signs of incoming infection and oral disease.
They’ll also perform teeth cleanings to remove tartar and plaque and keep your teeth white. Meanwhile, if they spot any dental or gum issues, they’ll recommend treatment solutions before the problems worsen. At the same time, if you experience mouth, gum, or tooth pain, see your dentist right away for a proper diagnosis.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, the best way to maintain healthy teeth and gums is to keep up with good dental habits. Make sure to teach your kids the same so they can practice them at an early age. Most importantly, don’t forget to see your dentist as they’re your best ally in keeping your oral health in its best state.
Lastly, make sure that you visit a dental expert at least twice a year. If you don’t have a dentist yet, you can check this one who does crowns, and good-quality inlays and onlays in Redwood City.