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Why Improving Your Oral Health Should Be a New Year's Resolution

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The Importance of Good Oral Health

Oral health should be a top priority as soon as your first baby tooth erupts through the surface of your gums. Your oral health is vital for many reasons. Not only does it impact your ability to eat and speak, but it also affects your overall health.

Poor oral health has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and other severe health conditions. In this blog, we explain the important reasons to strive to improve your oral health habits and provide helpful tips to get you excited to start your oral health journey.

Reasons to Improve Your Oral Health Habits

Your mouth is home to billions of bacteria, some of which are harmful.

Plaque and Tartar Prevention

Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, mucus, and bacteria that forms on your teeth and gums. If plaque is not removed through daily brushing and flossing, it can harden and turn into tartar. Tartar can irritate your gums, causing them to become red, swollen, and bleed. Irritated gums can lead to gingivitis, an early form of gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis.

Periodontitis Prevention

Periodontitis is a more severe form of gum disease where the gums recede from the teeth, causing them to become loose and vulnerable. Once that happens, the disease can damage the tissues and bone supporting your teeth.

How Teeth Change During Pregnancy

If you have recently been pregnant, are pregnant, or want to become pregnant, it is essential to know your teeth are more susceptible to oral health problems. During pregnancy, changes in hormones, such as increased estrogen, can weaken your teeth, putting them at a higher risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Poor oral health can also adversely affect your baby, increasing their risk of poor oral health from a young age. For this reason, it is essential to take strides toward improved oral health so you and your baby can live happy, healthy lives.

Why You Need to Take Care of Your Kids’ Baby Teeth

It's not just adults who need to take care of their teeth. Kids need to take care of their baby teeth too! Although they are temporary, baby teeth are important for several reasons:

  • They help guide adult teeth to the correct place.
  • They also hold space for adult teeth that have yet to come in.
  • Taking care of baby teeth can help prevent cavities in adult teeth.

Permanent teeth grow inside the jawbone, under the layer of baby teeth. If your child prematurely loses their baby teeth due to tooth decay and lack of care, the adult tooth following it could grow misaligned. The misaligned tooth will make it hard for the rest of the teeth to grow correctly, causing bite problems.

How Genetics Affect Your Teeth

Unfortunately, genetics can play a role in the health of your teeth and gums. If you have family members with gum disease, you may be more likely to develop it yourself. However, there are steps you can take that will help combat the adverse effects of genetic issues that can help improve the health of your gums, even if you are predisposed to the disease, such as:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Regular dental cleanings
  • Thorough brushing twice a day
  • Flossing your teeth daily

Why Quitting Smoking Will Improve Your Oral Health

Smoking is terrible for oral health - there are no two ways about it. It decreases the blood flow to your gums, making them more susceptible to infections. In addition, smoking increases your risk of developing gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth cancer. If you're looking for another reason to quit smoking, consider the impact it has on your oral health! Once you strive to improve your oral health by kicking the habit, your mouth and overall health will thank you.

How Poor Oral Health Links to Heart Disease

Did you know that poor oral health is linked to increased heart disease risk? Gum disease is caused by bacteria invading the gum tissue and causing inflammation. This bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause damage to the arteries leading to the heart, ultimately leading to a heart attack or stroke.

Helpful Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Health

Brushing Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth is important because it cleans the surface of your teeth, ridding them of harmful bacteria and preventing plaque buildup. To help protect your gums from damage, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush at least twice daily. When brushing your teeth, gently use circular, back-and-forth, and up-and-down motions.

Floss Everyday

Flossing your teeth helps to clean between your teeth, where your toothbrush is unable to reach. This helps prevent bacteria from sitting between your teeth, eventually causing cavities to form. Use whatever form of floss you prefer and gently slide the floss between each tooth in a zigzag motion and under the gumline. Use a clean section of floss for each tooth as you move from tooth to tooth. Be sure not to snap or force the floss into place, as this may cut or bruise sensitive areas around the gum line.

Rinse with Mouthwash at Least Once Daily

Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day to help kill germs that cause plaque buildup. Not only will this help to keep your breath fresh, but it helps prevent the growth of bacteria from harming your teeth between brushing. Swish the mouthwash inside your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds, ensuring that it reaches all areas of your mouth.

Visit Your Dentist for Regular Cleanings

Visiting your dentist every six months for regular checkups helps provide your teeth with deep cleaning and also helps prevent future issues. Regular cleanings help rid your teeth of plaque buildup that happens, no matter how well you care for your teeth. Additionally, your dentist will be able to identify any problems and provide you with direction to stop the issue from developing further.

Bonus Oral Health Tips!

  • Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Limit your intake of sugary food and drinks.
  • Don't smoke or use other tobacco products.
  • Stay hydrated.

Good oral health habits are essential for maintaining a healthy mouth. Following the tips listed above, you can help prevent plaque buildup, gingivitis, and other oral health problems. So this new year, take active strides toward your oral health to ensure you become healthier for years to come!

If you have questions or concerns about your oral health, our experienced team at ProHEALTH Dental has the knowledge and resources to help. Contact us online or give us a call today! (855) 750-5011

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