A sparkling, white smile is the by-product of good dental hygiene. Daily brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist for semi-annual exams and cleanings all play a role in keeping teeth healthy and bright. What many don’t know, however, is that keeping teeth healthy helps to keep the entire body functioning well. When it comes to dental hygiene, it is always better to take great care of the teeth to play it safe rather than being sorry later when minor tooth problems have become larger ones.
If a great smile isn’t a big enough of an incentive to visit the dentist soon, these five reasons should be:
1. Helps to Keep the Heart Healthy
Periodontal disease, which is an infection of the tissue that surrounds the teeth, has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Those who had periodontal disease were two times more likely to suffer from coronary artery disease, one study has found. Good oral hygiene can prevent periodontal disease from occurring.
2. Improves Memory
Adults who have gingivitis perform worse on memory tests and at cognitive skills than those who have healthy gums. Additionally, there is some research that indicated that people who lost teeth before the age of 35 due to poor hygiene and tooth decay were more likely to have dementia when they were older.
3. Increases Confidence and Self-Esteem
Having a healthy smile makes people more confident and likely to talk in front of peers, co-workers and friends. Tooth decay and yellowed teeth can be unsightly, but poor oral hygiene can also result in bad breath. Having bad breath can make people feel more self-conscious when in a conversation with others.
4. Helps to Stabilize Blood Sugars
People with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease. This is because the immune system can be compromised in those whose diabetes is not in control. Good oral hygiene can help to prevent gingivitis, which will reduce blood sugar levels.
5. Keeps Pregnant Women Keep Their Babies in Until Full-Term
Dental visits can sometimes be put off during pregnancy when focusing on taking care of the growing baby. However, hormones can make pregnant women more susceptible to gum disease. Some research links gum disease in the mother with early delivery. Making good hygiene a part of the pregnancy can keep the mom and baby healthy.
A minor tooth problem may sometimes be overlooked. Getting dental care soon after noticing blood when brushing teeth, feeling any tooth pain or experiencing unusual sensitivity is critical in taking care of problems before they turn into large problems that can affect the entire body. When it comes to dental health, play it safe and take care of the teeth before any major problems occur.