Benefits Of Oral Hygiene

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A Dentist wearing all white examining a patient's mouth in the dental office
Mecha Priscilla Avatar

(Writer, Healthcare & Well-being)

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The World Health Organization’s Global Oral Health Status Report estimates that oral diseases affect nearly 3.5 billion people worldwide, with three out of four affected people living in middle-income countries.

Globally, an estimated 2 billion people suffer from caries of permanent teeth, and 514 million children suffer from primary teeth caries.

Most people underestimate the importance of oral health. It’s more than fighting bad breath; neglecting oral hygiene can have other harmful effects.

Oral hygiene can be defined as keeping one’s oral cavity clean and free of disease and other problems (e.g. bad breath) by regular brushing and flossing of the teeth (dental hygiene) and adopting good hygiene habits.

You must be able to carry out regular good hygiene practices to prevent dental disease and bad breath.

Oral hygiene has its benefits. Let’s consider some benefits of good oral health.

  • Healthy Gums: When your gums are healthy, you don’t notice redness or swelling in your oral cavity, you don’t bleed while flossing, and you don’t have loose teeth. Unhealthy gums can be caused by factors like a high intake of hard drugs (e.g., tobacco, cigarettes, etc.), malnutrition, poor oral hygiene, and taking painkillers, among others. Brushing properly removes food particles and keeps your teeth strong and fresh.
  • Boosted Self-esteem: People look at you when you talk; it’s natural and normal. But if you lack good oral hygiene, it can make you withdrawn and scared. You can’t speak openly; you can’t laugh aloud; you only shut yourself out and feel sad or depressed. It’s a terrible feeling, the fear of expressing oneself as you would love. You can get ridiculed by peers or family members. It’s not just about brushing your teeth, cleaning your tongue, and flossing; good oral hygiene helps you feel refreshed and bold when speaking.
  • Decreased Risk Of Cancer: Recent epidemiological studies have suggested a possible link between poor oral hygiene, especially periodontal disease, and the risk of pancreatic cancer. According to researchers at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, people with a history of gum disease may also have a higher risk of developing stomach and oesophagal cancers. It’s believed that certain mouth bacteria that thrive due to poor oral health can enter the bloodstream and cause the development of specific cancers, such as pancreatic and stomach cancer. Nevertheless, further studies are required to understand the underlying mechanism.
  • Digestive Wellness: Living things chew food to aid digestion, but poor dental health can inhibit the ability to chew correctly. Strong teeth allow chewing and swallowing effectively, aiding digestion.
  • Prevent Tooth Decay: Good oral hygiene keeps teeth strong. Brushing, flossing, and reducing sugar intake help maintain rigid teeth and reduce the need for invasive dental procedures. Excessive sugar harms teeth, so reducing or possibly stopping consuming sugary candies is advised.
  • Improved Chances Of Weight Loss Success: Good oral health can indirectly contribute to weight loss by reducing the risk of developing complications such as high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Improved Finances: Daily brushing and flossing are relatively easy tasks. Doing so regularly reduces the risk of mouth problems, which require medical attention. Instead, you can save money for more important things. It’s essential to care for your teeth properly and always feel active while at it. You might think, ‘I brushed today, I don’t have to brush tomorrow,’ or ‘I don’t have to brush at night’. However, since we eat every day, we must brush every day to remove food particles from our food and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’, so preventing mouth disease can save you money in the long run.

How Can I Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene?

Oral Hygiene

To protect your oral health, ensure to attend to the care of your mouth daily:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoride toothpaste. Don’t forget to brush your tongue.
  • Don’t forget to clean between your teeth every day using floss, a water flosser, or other specialized products!
  • “Fuel your body with nutritious foods and cut back on sugary treats and drinks for a healthier you.”
  • Switch out your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or sooner if you notice the bristles are worn or flaring out. Your dental health is important, so keep those bristles fresh!
  • It is important to see a dentist for checkups and cleanings at least once a year. Your dentist may recommend more frequent visits or cleanings based on your individual needs. If your gums require additional care, you may be referred to a periodontist, a specialist in treating gum issues.
  • Refrain from using tobacco.

Conclusion

The human body needs care for all its parts, each essential for overall well-being. Neglecting any part, regardless of size or perceived importance, can harm our health.

The mouth houses a crucial part of the nervous system—the tongue—and should always be kept clean. Proper care should also extend to the teeth and other mouth areas.

Lack of oral hygiene doesn’t only lead to halitosis but can result in various issues such as unhealthy gums leading to tooth loss, low self-esteem potentially causing depression, tooth decay, financial strain, increased risk of health diseases, and more.

Brushing two to three times a day with a mild toothbrush and minty toothpaste before and after eating, rinsing with clean water, and maintaining oral hygiene can keep your mouth fresh and healthy. This simple routine helps you smile confidently and boosts your self-esteem.


Mecha Priscilla Avatar

(Writer, Healthcare & Well-being)

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