Dental Hygiene & Your Health

Observing a healthy oral regimen is not only important for preserving your smile but is vital in the warding off cavities and oral disease.

Although oral health is something that is often overlooked, your mouth is one of the first pointers to nutritional deficiencies. Other diseases that affect your body may gain access through mouth lesions as well as other oral problems.


Unhealthy oral hygiene could affect your overall health in the following ways:


It affects your heart’s health

Plaque accumulation in the mouth has been proven to be one of the causes of heart disease. Plaque is as a result of too much bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria could get into your bloodstream and accumulate on your blood vessels leading to blood flow problems and blockages. In severe cases, such could lead to a heart attack or stroke.


It could lead to premature labor on pregnant women

The hormonal changes during pregnancy make the woman vulnerable to oral infections. Such infections increase the risk of pregnancy complications including premature birth as well as a low birth weight of the infant.


Poor oral health has been linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

These conditions could be as a result of gingivitis, particularly if the bacteria spreads to the nervous system or gets into the bloodstream. The infected gums release substances that kill the brain cells leading to memory loss.


Respiratory conditions

Bacteria from infected teeth could get into your bloodstream and find its way into your lungs. This could lead to respiratory infections such as acute bronchitis and pneumonia.


The link between health and dental cleanings has recently come into the spotlight.

Dental health may be linked to physical health, and we all know that clean teeth and gums can make us feel better. During a dental cleaning, dentists are looking for tooth decay or other oral problems.


What are Dental Cleanings?

Dental cleanings are not scary. Although many people seem to dread them, there is little reason for this. Routine dental cleanings can improve the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums, and are performed by a trained dental hygienist. The hygienist uses a tiny mirror to look at the teeth and gums for signs of inflamed gums (gingivitis) or other problems. If plaque is present, it will be removed with a scaler (hint: you can floss and brush more to shorten this part). Gritty toothpaste and a high-powered electric brush is used to deep clean and remove tartar left behind by the scaler. Flossing is next, following by rinsing, and then fluoride treatment which helps protect your teeth from cavities for a few months following your dentist appointment. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?


Why Should You Get a Dental Cleaning?

medical study found that people who had their teeth cleaned at least every two years had a 24% less chance of heart attack, and their risk of stroke fell 13%! In addition, dental cleanings can:

Looking at the benefits, it’s clear why regular dental cleanings are so good for you! Preventing dental problems before they start can keep your bank account padded, as you won’t have to spend that money on costly dental procedures down the line.


A healthy enamel protects the inner structures of your teeth and will also keep you healthy.

A weak enamel leads to unhealthy and weak teeth. And lack of proper care can also lead to painful infections that require extraction of teeth or root canal therapy. Scheduling regular checkups with our office every 6 months keeps you safe. And there is so much more you can do.  Here are five tips:

  1. Choose what you eat and drink carefully – Avoid sugary drinks, starchy foods, or foods that cling to your mouth for long. Starchy and sugary foods create bacteria in the mouth that wears down and softens the enamel. Limit sweeteners and acidic foods like citrus. They also wear down the enamel over time. For a healthy enamel, go for plain water and brush your teeth thoroughly after taking sugary drinks or foods. Eat foods rich in calcium and protein like fish, eggs, leafy greens, and dairy products.
  2. Use the right toothpaste – Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride. Fluoride reverses signs of decay and rebuilds weakened enamel.
  3. Brush properly – Use a soft-bristled brush twice a day. You should also floss once. However, do not overbrush and keep the brushing light. Use short gentle strokes to clean all teeth surfaces.
  4. Chew sugarless gum – Chewing sugarless gum stimulates saliva production. This washes away bacteria, cleans the teeth and protects them from cavities. It also helps remove acids from the teeth surface.
  5. Do not grind your teeth – Grinding your teeth wear down your enamel over time. Your dentist can prescribe a custom fitted mouth guard if you have this problem.


And even if you have teeth as good-looking as Brad Pitt’s, you still have to do a few things to prevent potential threats. Here are our practical tips to hack your way through clean teeth:

  1. Brush your Teeth Every Night – It is a general rule that we should brush our teeth twice daily – daytime and nighttime. Most of us (probably all of us) keep our teeth squeaky clean during the day but neglect doing the same before going to bed. Brushing our teeth before lying down prevents and gets rid of the accumulation of germs and plaque.
  2. Less Processed Foods, More Veggies – Vegetables (specifically crunchy ones) contain loads of fiber that strengthen your teeth with every bite. Avoid processed ready-to-eat foods and go for fresh produce instead. Also, don’t slice and dice the vegetables for your kids; encourage them to do the slicing and dicing with their teeth!
  3. Don’t Fear to Floss – Kids and adults alike consider flossing to be a somewhat tedious process. However tedious it may prove to be, keep on flossing. Look for ready-to-use dental flossers at your local drugstore that may make your flossing experience more enjoyable.
  4. Try out Mouthwash – Mouthwashes radically reduce the amount of oral acid, cleans hard-to-reach areas in the gums and adds minerals to the teeth. Based on your age and nature of your teeth, choose the one that best suits you.
  5. Brush Thoroughly – Brushing improperly is almost similar to not brushing at all. Move the brush in slow, gentle and circular motions to get rid of plaque. Plaque build-up can harden, eventually leading to gingivitis.
  6. Double your Annual Dentist Visits – Dentists spot potential dental issues before they start feeling their effects later on. Take advantage of the insurance offered by some dental companies to increase your dental check-up visits.

While cleaning your mouth at home is necessary, it cannot exhaustively get rid of plaque and food particles stuck in your mouth. Scheduling a professional dental cleaning will rid your mouth of any tartar and plaque buildup, an ultimately better your health. Contact us at 703-549-1960.

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