How often do you hear how important it is to brush and floss your teeth every day, or how essential dental visits are? The recommendations for oral care set forth by the American Dental Association are crucial for maintaining oral health. However, many people still do not follow these recommendations. They may skip out on flossing from time to time, or may not always maintain regular dental visits. Oral hygiene is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth, and a healthy body. Shenandoah Family Dentistry can help.
Oral hygiene is essential for many reasons.
• Prevention of oral health issues. Your mouth is made up of many components, including your teeth, your gums, and your jawbone. When oral health issues such as gum disease or cavities develop, the functions of your mouth may be affected.
• Maintaining a beautiful smile. Oral health issues can cause gum recession or tooth loss, which can impact the appearance of your smile.
• Respiratory health. Gum disease can impact your lung health, causing pneumonia and exacerbating issues like COPD and asthma.
• Disease prevention. Oral health issues can lead to health issues like heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancers, and more.
• Mental health. When your smile is affected by oral health issues, it can impact your mental health. You may feel self-conscious. Your social and romantic life may be affected. This can increase your risk for depression.
• Healthy pregnancy. Hormone changes in pregnancy can increase your risk for gum disease. Untreated gum disease can increase your risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
Oral hygiene starts at home. The ADA recommends that you brush at least twice a day. Every time you brush, you should do so for two full minutes. Use a soft bristled brush and gentle, circular motions. Brush all surfaces of your teeth, including fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces.
The ADA also recommends flossing at least once a day. Move the floss gently back and forth to get it between your teeth. Avoid snapping the floss against your gum tissue. Scrape the floss up and down the sides of each tooth, and behind the very back teeth. If you have trouble with manual dexterity, floss picks can be used instead of traditional floss.
While taking care of your mouth at home is crucial for preventing serious oral health issues, brushing and flossing are only a part of maintaining optimal oral hygiene. It is also recommended that you have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year. Cleanings are essential for removing all debris from the surfaces of your teeth, including the most stubborn tartar. We can also clean the surfaces of your teeth that you might not be able to clean at home.
Exams are essential for detecting oral health issues in their earliest stages. We look over your teeth and your gums, checking for decay, damage, and gum disease. By detecting issues in their early stages, before symptoms begin to appear, we can provide you with the least invasive treatments possible and prevent the issues from becoming severe.
Practicing good oral hygiene is essential for maintaining not your oral health, but your overall health and your quality of life. If you have any questions or concerns, call Shenandoah Family Dentistry today at (540) 667-8731.