family dentist virginia beach vaWe’ve heard it since we were young: brush and floss every day if you want to have a healthy smile! This is sound advice, and when coupled with regular dental cleanings, these good dental hygiene habits go a long way in preventing cavities and gum disease.

Dental hygiene also has an impact on the rest of your body. An unhealthy mouth can lead to other health issues.  Gentle Dental Center always stresses the importance of good dental hygiene for oral health and for overall health.

The Problem With Poor Dental Hygiene

When we don’t take care of our teeth, we put ourselves at risk for health issues in the mouth as well as in other parts of the body.

  • Cavities: Tooth decay is common in both children and adults. Cavities can be painful and require a dental appointment to fill. Unfortunately, some cavities are so deep or large they can’t be filled and it may be necessary to remove the tooth.
  • Periodontal Disease: Gum disease is an infection in the gums. If left untreated, it can progress to the point that your teeth shift and loosen.
  • Other Health Concerns: Mayo Clinic explains that poor oral hygiene and the resulting periodontal disease can contribute to heart disease, infection in the inner lining of the heart, and even premature birth and low birth weight.

Certain health conditions can also make it more challenging to maintain good oral health.  Some of these include certain cancers, HIV and AIDS, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. The connection between these diseases and oral health are clear. Some research has even shown that people with gum disease are more likely to develop cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Benefits of Good Dental Hygiene

With good oral hygiene habits, you can avoid the adverse health issues that occur from not taking care of your oral health. When you quit smoking, avoid snacking on sugary foods, brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings, you’re giving your mouth the best opportunity to stay healthy. Sometimes we get cavities despite our best efforts, but early detection allows your dentist to take care of them before they cause a bigger problem.

If you do have a health condition that makes oral hygiene more challenging, you may have to be a little more diligent about your healthy habits. For example, you may require more frequent brushing or professional cleanings, or you may want to talk to your dentist about your best options for toothbrushes, toothpaste, and mouth wash.

With proper care, our teeth should last for most if not all of our life. Keeping them healthy saves you time and money by avoiding dental work like fillings, bridges, and implants.

Good oral hygiene starts now. If it’s been more than six months since your last check-up and cleaning, call Gentle Dental Center at (757) 431-2200 to schedule your next appointment. The little things you do today will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for the rest of your life. Contact us today!