The new year is upon us and with that, we traditionally reflect on our life choices and prepare our list of lifestyle changes we intend to make, to improve ourselves.
But why do we need good oral health to achieve a healthy smile? Some of you may wonder, that to get that bright and shining smile, all that is required is simple teeth cleaning or teeth whitening treatment at the dentist’s office.
However, this is not the case. To ensure that your gums and teeth remain healthy and free from diseases, you will need to practice optimal behaviour in taking care of your mouth. Brushing and flossing alone, won’t suffice this need.
SEE ALSO: 10 Ways to Eliminate Bad Breath
What happens If You don’t have a Proper Dental Care Routine?
We know that the early signs of poor oral hygiene can lead to an accumulation of dental problems such as gingivitis or halitosis, requiring complex and painful dental treatments.
But did you know that neglecting your dental hygiene might affect some different parts of your body as well?
To enlighten you on the importance of maintaining good oral health, let us look at some of the problems that may arise if you do not have or practice a proper dental care routine:
1 – Risk for Stroke and Heart Disease:
When untreated bacteria enter your teeth, you may develop plaque, which could also affect your heart.
Here’s how this happens:
Step 1: bacteria breeds on your teeth.
Step 2: it forms into layers of plaque
Step 3: the resultant plaque will clog the arteries
Step 4: the blood vessels that send blood to your brain also become clogged.
When this occurs, you will automatically be exposed to the risk of heart attack and stroke.
2 – Risk for Dementia:
Shocking but true. Poor oral hygiene can also lead to dementia. But how?
Well, when you practice ill-maintained dental care, bacteria begin to flourish in your mouth. This can lead to gum diseases, which can cause inflammation.
Simultaneously, it raises the risks of a certain type of plaque called the “beta-amyloid” plaque which can impact the brain, leading to dementia.
3 – Risk for Respiratory Problems:
If you are suffering from periodontal diseases or gum diseases and do not get them checked by a doctor, then you are most likely to encounter respiratory illnesses.
Let’s learn how this happens.
The bacteria emerging from these periodontal diseases, can potentially travel through your bloodstream, and reach your lungs. When this occurs, your respiratory system may begin to malfunction.
This is because, as per the studies performed by the Journal of Medicine & Life, bacteria from gum disease, are now in direct contact with your lungs. As a result, you may be exposed to risks such as acute bronchitis or chronic pneumonia.
4 – Risk for Cancer:
According to several research studies and journal publications provided by the Lancert Oncology Journal or the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, experts note that people with periodontal diseases are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer. The most common type of cancer diagnosis in these situations is pancreatic cancer.
Moreover, exposure to gum diseases due to poor oral hygiene can also expose you to blood cancer, and in some cases, even kidney cancer.
These risk factors can easily be avoided starting today. All you need to do is make a solid new year’s resolution, to protect your teeth and gums in the future.
Dental Care for Life
Listed below are some simple new year’s resolutions you can adopt to achieve and keep a healthy smile:
1 – Use Correct Brushing Technique
Find the most appropriate toothbrush for yourself. You might be better off with an electric toothbrush. Are you brushing your teeth in the right manner? Let us explain.
Place your brush on the gums at a 45-degree angle and gently move the brush back and forth throughout the teeth. When you finish brushing, your teeth should feel completely smooth and clean.
Keep in mind that, to get rid of food particles embedded in your teeth, or to remove plaque on your tooth enamel, you need to brush your teeth twice a day. Flossing also helps in this process.
2 – Add tongue cleaning to your daily routine
We tend to overlook the tongue when it comes to plaque removal. The naturally uneven surface of the tongue efficiently harbours thousands of bacteria between the “papillae” (little bumps on your tongue). Heavy plaque accumulation on the tongue is one of the major causes of bad breath.
Hence, don’t forget to incorporate tongue cleaning into your dental care routine. A clean tongue is also essential in maintaining a healthy smile.
3 – Maintain a healthy diet
It is important to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet. Foods that are high in calcium (leafy greens), that are fibrous and crunchy (carrots, apples), are probiotics (kombucha, miso), and that are high in fat (nuts, avocados) can help keep your teeth protected from developing cavities.
Since sugary drinks and food lead to cavities, it can diminish your ability to procure a set of healthy teeth and gums considerably. Hence, you will need to maintain a healthy diet for lasting and good oral health.
4 – Quit/Limit Smoking
Although it is understandably not easy, giving up smoking or chewing tobacco products can yield the most substantial change and improvement in health to the mouth as well as the rest of the body.
Not only does it vastly improve your oral hygiene, but virtually eliminates the risks of bad breath, tooth decay, plaque, tartar build-up, and even the staining of your teeth.
5 – Commit to dental visits
You commonly only need two dental check-ups a year. When a dental professional monitors your teeth regularly, you’re more likely to catch problems while they are small and need very minimal restoration.
However, if you wait long enough to have a problem checked out, you may be subjected to endure complex and painful treatments. Remember that by neglecting your dental care, you are also exposing your overall health to severe problems.
6 – Pay attention to your teeth’s alignment
Along with regular dental visits, you may also need to pursue various orthodontic treatments that will help straighten the alignment of your teeth. With straight teeth, not only can you achieve malocclusion-free dental health, but you can also avoid risks such as gummy smile, cavities, and gum diseases.
Similarly, by employing veneers, braces, crowns, and bridges, for your oral health, you will be able to achieve a pearly white smile, and also alleviate the risk of headaches, neck, and jaw pain.