Dental Hygienist Week
I have been lucky to have had only good dental experiences in my lifetime and I believe that is mostly because of the wonderful hygienists I have seen. They have all been kind and explain issues in a way that I can understand. Taking care of our oral health is an important step in living a healthy life. The following article is a guest post from Eva Benoit on ways to improve your oral health and help to make your next visit to the dentist go even better!
Make Your Mouth Happier: A Primer On Oral Health
We all want pearly whites, so we try to take care of our teeth every day. But how much do you really know about your oral health, and are you doing enough? There are probably many things you don’t. In today’s Beauty At All Ages blog, we’ll take a look at 10 bits of information about your oral health you may have missed.
Toothpaste isn’t necessary.
We all love the way that our mouth feels when it’s cool and minty. But according to DentalPlans.com, toothpaste isn’t necessary to remove plaque and food debris. While it does help freshen your breath, you can brush with just water and maintain your oral health.
Crooked teeth are harder to clean.
Crooked teeth are not only visually unappealing, they can affect your health, as well. The reason? Crooked teeth are more difficult to properly clean because your toothbrush can’t reach the bacteria and tartar buildup that causes gum disease. Fortunately, you can align your teeth completely from the comfort of home by using a mail-order aligner, which is safe, convenient and affordable (Byte, as one example, offers an all-day aligner kit for $1,895). That said, you may need to schedule a visit with an orthodontist if your teeth are severely misaligned.
You chew on the side you write with.
When you’re brushing and flossing, pay special attention to the side of your mouth that corresponds with the hand you write with. You almost certainly chew the majority of your food on that side — meaning, more debris to brush away.
You probably don’t brush your teeth long enough.
Children’s Dental Village says that most people brush their teeth between 45 and 70 seconds. In reality, you should brush for at least two to three minutes for the best results. A good rule of thumb here is to listen to your favorite song while you brush your teeth.
There are more than 700 types of bacteria in your mouth.
You have billions of bacteria in your mouth, and these come from some 700 different species. This is part of your oral microbiome. Many of these little germs are even good for you, much like the bacteria in your gut.
Saliva protects your teeth.
Next to blood, saliva is perhaps the most important bodily fluid. Although it is made up of 98% water, it also includes antibacterial compounds, minerals, and proteins. These work together to ensure your teeth stay clean and strong. Saliva protects against gum disease and repairs surface damage caused by acidic compounds.
Poor oral hygiene is a sign of depression.
Many people, particularly seniors, lose interest in personal hygiene when they become depressed. Poor oral hygiene may be a sign of depression or other mental illness.
Bad breath is a symptom of diabetes.
Millions of Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes when they are in crisis mode. However, some studies suggest that your dentist may be able to help you identify diabetes early on. Periodontal disease, ketoacidosis, and dry mouth are all side effects of diabetes, and each of these can cause bad breath.
Your teeth aren’t supposed to be bright white.
In the United States, having bright white teeth is a sign of affluence and beauty. But overly white teeth look out of place and unnatural. Maryland-based True Dental explains that the teeth actually come in four basic shades: reddish-gray, gray, reddish-yellow, and reddish-brown. Although this is a very faint coloration, it just goes to show that teeth are not supposed to be “pearly” white. Thin enamel and genetics can also leave the teeth a (perfectly natural) light yellow color.
Smoking damages your teeth as badly as not brushing.
If you smoke, stop! Not only is this a terrible habit that can lead to lung cancer, but smoking may also lead to oral cancer, mouth ulcers, tooth decay, a weakened immune system, and periodontal disease. Pair these issues with bad breath and a loss of taste and smell, and it’s easy to see why cigarettes have no part in a healthy lifestyle.
Taking care of your teeth is the best thing you can do for yourself at any age. Not only will you look better and have more confidence, but great oral hygiene is better for your overall health. So grab a toothbrush – soft-bristled of course – and get to work!
Image via Pexels
Eva Benoit left her job as an office manager to pursue being a life, career, and overall wellness coach. She specializes in helping professionals with stress and anxiety but welcomes working with people from all walks of life. She works with her clients to discover and explore avenues that will bring them balance, peace, and improved overall well-being that can last a lifetime. She is the author of the upcoming book, The 30-Day Plan for Ending Bad Habits and Improving Overall Health.