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Dental Prevention Is Your Best Friend

Dental Teeth Brushing

When it comes to establishing and maintaining good oral health, your dentist is your best friend. Your dentist has the knowledge, tools, and expertise to diagnose and treat all potential dental issues, and they can assist in developing plans for maintaining good health care habits at home.

One of the first things your dentist is going to tell you is that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Taking good care of yourself by establishing solid hygiene practices at home will reduce the amount of time, energy, and money spent at the dentist.

How Important Is Oral Health? Taking good care of mouth, teeth, and gums is essential to overall health. Not only does proper oral hygiene manage bad breath, prevent cavities, and stave off gum disease, it can prevent illness and infection from entering other systems of the body.

Did you know that oral health and overall health are inextricably linked? Consider this: Your mouth is a gateway to the rest of your body, so if riddled with disease, decay, and infection, it can quickly spread to other areas of the body, wreaking havoc on these systems as well.

Conversely, if your mouth is healthy and disease free, this can assist in maintaining balance throughout the rest of the body as well.

The Consequences Of Dental Neglect Some of the more obvious consequences of not taking care of your teeth are obvious. Decay, infection, and gum disease are all more prevalent in mouths that suffer neglect. Without proper dental hygiene practices at home and regular visits to your dental care professionals, problems can quickly become severe and cause issues with your health in other ways as well.

Links between poor dental hygiene and heart disease--bacteria from a dirty and diseased mouth can find their way into your bloodstream, finding their way to your heart. Excess toxicity around the heart can lead to inflammation of the inner lining of the heart, blood clots, and even heart attack.

Links between poor dental hygiene and diabetes--studies have proven that there is a direct link between gum disease and blood sugar issues. The formation of plaque and its progression into tartar, an even harder substance to remove from teeth, are direct contributors to gum disease. Cleaning your teeth regularly and eliminating excess bacteria is one way to reduce inflammation and restore balance to an otherwise overloaded system.

Links between poor dental hygiene and chronic inflammation--Inflamed teeth and gums can cause systemic inflammation and related diseases such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even fibromyalgia. All of these chronic pain conditions can be improved and relieved through the restoration of oral health.

Links between poor dental hygiene and respiratory issues--Those already prone to asthmatic conditions and respiratory difficulties find their situations worsened through the addition of harmful bacteria in the lungs. Removing excess bacteria and improving oxygen flow throughout the body is helpful in enhancing breathing issues.

Eating Healthy

Scared yet? With all of these apparent links between dental hygiene and other health issues, our course seems clear. We need to reclaim our oral health and improve our practices, beginning at home. What can we do to obtain that “pound of cure” that we need?

  1. Brush your teeth! Seems so simple, doesn’t it? Brushing your teeth and flossing on a regular schedule, such as twice daily, eliminates 85 to 90 percent of bacteria and food particles in the mouth, reducing the possibility of plaque formation dramatically. Plaque free teeth are healthy teeth, and healthy teeth contribute to a healthy body.

  2. Floss! An often overlooked step in oral care, yet it is essential for additional bacteria removal. Floss can clean out areas in between teeth and along the gumline that brushing alone cannot reach. Flossing at least once each day will strengthen and improve the health of teeth, soft tissue, and gums.

  3. Consider using a fluoride rinse to strengthen enamel. There are dozens of products on the market now that will aid in reducing plaque, strengthening enamel, and keeping bacteria and infection at bay. Following your brushing and flossing routine with a protective rinse will add that extra layer of protection that will ward off unwelcome invaders.

  4. Eat a healthy diet, and eliminate acidic, sticky, and sugary foods. Diets that primarily consist of whole foods low in sugar are best to maintain good oral health. If you must indulge from time to time in a sugary or sticky sweet, make sure you follow up with brushing and flossing to reduce the amount of time that this substance is allowed to stick to teeth.

BONUS TIP: Did you know that studies have shown that even people who love their cakes, cookies and candies can eliminate the urge or even the desire to eat them? It's true!

Participants enrolled chose their favorite two fruits, such as an apple and grapes. With the fruit choice substituted during the usual snack times for 28 consecutive days, with no deviation, over 90% reported preferring the natural snack over their previous sweets. The brain will begin to prefer the healthier choice naturally. Also, apples are grapes are probably less expensive than cakes, and Snickers bars on the front end, and indeed preferred to the cost of cavity repairs and root canals, wouldn't you agree?

The best way to ward off decay and disease is through preventative care. Establishing proper oral health care routines at home and making regular trips to your dental professionals will assist you in maintaining a sparkling set of teeth for years to come.

At Park Street Dental, we are passionate about your health. Maintaining good oral health is critical to your overall health, and we can help you create a plan to improve your wellness. Contact us at today to create a shining smile and a brighter future!

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