Do you think you have a healthy mouth, how closely do you pay attention to your dental and oral health, or are you one of those who manage to just brush their teeth twice a day and think they should be fine by just doing that?
Did you know that; aside from bad breath and loss of teeth, poor oral and dental hygiene can affect nearly every part of your body? An unhealthy mouth with gum disease in the long run may increase your risk of serious health issues such as stroke, heart diseases such as heart attack, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labour which are preventable.
Dental and oral health have risen in importance in recent years as researchers have discovered a link between declining oral health and underlying systemic conditions. It turns out that a healthy mouth can help you maintain a healthy body. According to the Mayo Clinic, oral bacteria and inflammation may be associated with heart disease, Endocarditis which is the inflammation of the lining of the heart, premature birth and/low birth weight.
Good oral and dental hygiene do not only enable you look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. It also prevents bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease and helps you keep your teeth as you get older. It is important to understand the link between your oral health and your overall wellbeing.
Dental and oral hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth, teeth and gums clean and healthy to prevent dental diseases and other problems such as bad breath by brushing the teeth and cleaning of the whole mouth. We often take it for granted but it is an essential part of our everyday lives which is sub-consciously ignored or do not get the attention it deserves due to our busy life schedules or our ignorance of its effects.
Dental and oral hygiene goes beyond just brushing the teeth and cleaning of the mouth. It includes checking the food you eat, what you drink; basically what goes into your mouth.
One of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums is to maintain a good dental and oral hygiene, as the effects of having a poor dental and oral hygiene may cause dental cavities, plaque and a more advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis. You should note that when you start to experience frequent dry mouth, pain during chewing or biting, sudden sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures or beverages, bleeding or swollen gums after brushing or flossing that is picking your teeth and chronic bad breath then there is a problem and you need to see the dentist as soon as possible.
In keeping a good dental and oral hygiene one must make a conscious effort of paying close attention to their mouth and ensure that everything is fine in that area. Daily preventive care, including spending time to properly brush and floss and regular visits to the dentist for checkups, will help stop problems before they develop and it is much less painful, less expensive, and less worrisome than treating conditions that have been allowed to progress.
As previously mentioned, poor oral hygiene, and its diseases and dangers that come with it are preventable. By taking small steps performed daily, you can avoid the negative effects of poor hygiene and greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These steps include:
- Brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily
- Eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks between meals
- Using dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste
- Rinsing with fluoride mouth rinse or mouth wash—if your dentist advises
- Avoiding tobacco products
Let’s avoid poor oral hygiene and other related diseases by paying a little bit of attention to it because, “genuine smile comes from the heart, but a healthy smile needs good dental care”—Wayne Chirisa.
Article: By Serkina TANAGIDAH,
The writer is a student of Ghana Institute of Journalism.