You always make sure to take care of your teeth. You brush your teeth every morning. And then, at the end of the day, you brush again, and make sure to floss and rinse. That’s great — you’ve taken care of your mouth. But you’ve done more than that. You might not believe this, but when you practice better oral hygiene, your whole body benefits.
Preventing cavities, decay, tooth loss, and gum disease are some of the best-known reasons to take care of your mouth. But, there are many unexpected reasons too.
So, whether you realize the connection or not, there’s scientific proof that taking better care of your mouth improves your health overall.
Understanding Better Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene refers to taking care of your mouth. And that includes your teeth, gums, mouth, and breath.
Good oral hygiene is when all the components of your mouth are thoroughly cleaned and cared for on a regular basis.
You should know that when your mouth isn’t cared for properly or regularly, it suffers. But, fully understanding better oral hygiene will help you have control over these things:
10 Ways Better Oral Hygiene Improves Your Health
It seems like every day scientists are finding new ways oral hygiene impacts the health of humans. Keeping the gums, teeth, and mouth healthy can prevent or treat a variety of conditions in the body.
So, here are 10 ways better oral hygiene can improve your overall health. Some of them you might not know about.
- 1Heart health
Help your heart by cleaning your teeth, gums, and mouth.
Extensive research has shown oral hygiene and heart health are correlated.
The truth is, long-term inflammation in the body caused by gum disease-causing bacteria may cause the development of endocarditis, heart attacks, hypertension, and an increased risk for strokes.
In summary, keeping up with your dental care routine can help prevent cardiovascular problems.
- 2Diabetes prevention and diabetes maintenance
A healthy, well-cared for mouth can prevent diabetes because it helps regulate blood sugar levels. Gum disease has been shown to elevate blood sugar levels. Over time, elevated blood sugar levels can usher in a diabetes diagnosis. So, one way to prevent diabetes is to take care of your teeth, mouth, and gums.
Diabetics must know of anything that could destabilize blood sugar levels. And dental and mouth hygiene is one way to prevent and control a rise in the body’s blood sugar levels. So, for disease maintenance, diabetics should take extra care to practice good oral health.
- 3Cancer prevention
Visiting the dentist could prevent the onset of cancer. More specifically, researchers have discovered that the same bacteria responsible for causing gum disease may also instigate cancer of the pancreas.
In fact, men with a history of periodontal disease have a 63 percent increased chance of pancreatic cancer when compared to those who haven’t. So, logic states that better oral hygiene gives you a better chance of preventing the development of this cancer.
- 4Boosts fertility
Studies have shown that women who practice good oral hygiene get pregnant faster than those who don’t.
Unfortunately, bad oral health, especially gum disease, is linked to fertility problems in women. So, to boost fertility, start by ensuring your teeth and gums are in good shape.
- 5Safer pregnancies
Good oral hygiene betters a woman’s chance of carrying her child to term. And although gingivitis occurs more frequently for women during pregnancy, it’s possible for oral hygiene to create safer pregnancies.
Recently, science has observed a connection between gum disease, prematurely born babies, and babies born underweight.
- 6Inflammation prevention
It may go without saying, but Inflammation and infection go hand in hand.
And good oral hygiene is a way to prevent infection throughout the body.
In fact, the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis is a condition marked by increased inflammation in the joints. It’s also linked to inadequate dental health.
- 7Respiratory health
Mouth hygiene can keep your lungs healthy.
Since the mouth and the esophagus are connected, and your mouth houses some harmful bacteria, there’s an increased chance for developing a respiratory infection.
It's now known that both bronchitis and pneumonia are linked to bad bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria can cause repository illness when you breathe it into the lungs. When left unchecked, these bacteria can also cause more damage by entering the bloodstream. Keep the gums and teeth healthy for optimal lung function.
- 8Mental health
Practicing good oral hygiene impacts not only the body but also the mind.
Surprisingly, cavities, pain, decay, and tooth loss can create sleeping problems, headaches, the erosion of confidence, and a persistent, bothersome distraction in daily life. And mental health concerns frequently coexist with unhealthy oral habits.
And people with dental or gum conditions are less likely to smile, which could also contribute to overall happiness levels. When the mouth is healthy, you live a better life.
- 9Memory preservation
A clean mouth helps you keep memories.
How’s that, you say?
Scientists have linked poor dental health with a decrease in memory function, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2013, researchers pinpointed the specific mouth bacteria responsible for contributing to memory loss. This bacteria native to the mouth was found in the brain.
And practicing better oral hygiene can prevent these bacteria from flourishing in the mouth and therefore prevent its flourishing in the brain where it could influence memory.
- 10Clear skin
A clean mouth and clear skin go hand-in-hand.
Did you know that inadequate oral health connects to breakouts in the skin. In fact, bacteria in the mouth can cause acne breakouts on the face.
So, practicing good oral hygiene habits can help keep the bacteria at bay and keep your skin clear and fresh.
How to Practice Better Oral Hygiene
Regardless of your mouth’s current condition, there are always ways to improve your oral health. So, here are the best ways to bring your mind, body, and mouth into a healthier state.
Set up a dental appointment
When seeking to improve dental hygiene, experts always recommend starting with a clean slate. Improving oral hygiene begins with professional help. Just remember, the dedicated staff at Your Caring Dentist can provide everything you need to get your new dental hygiene routine going. Best of all, it's easy to request an appointment online.
Most importantly, plaque, cavities, gum issues, and tooth fractures are often undetectable to the untrained eye. A professional cleaning can help remove harmful bacteria from hard-to-reach areas in the mouth. And even in the absence of any dental or gum problems, beginning with a professional cleaning will ensure you have a head start to achieving your dental health goals.
Brushing your teeth and gums at least two times per day is paramount in keeping your mouth healthy. It’s the most effective way to remove bacteria-filled plague from your teeth.
Not only that:
Brushing twice per day is the minimum amount to do. And it’s even better if you can brush about an hour after every meal and after consuming any sweets or sugary drinks.
Flossing your teeth every day will remove more bacteria and plaque in-between your teeth and inside your gums. In between is where your toothbrush just can’t get to.
It’s good practice to floss every single day. The truth is, you haven’t properly cleaned your mouth until you’ve flossed. Try flossing at night to prevent any bacteria from settling in overnight.
Mouthwash is helpful in killing bacteria in the mouth. Using mouthwash may reduce plaque, tartar, and the chance of developing gingivitis. And some mouthwashes even provide whitening for your teeth.
Plus, it also helps keep your breath smelling fresh.
Avoid tobacco and sugar
Two of the biggest culprits for bad oral hygiene are tobacco and sugar. Both substances cause problems with teeth, gums, and mouth overall. Additionally, tobacco not only stains teeth, but it can also cause a variety of cancers.
Meanwhile, sugar erodes your teeth and causes tooth decay. So, to keep your dental hygiene in the best shape, avoid smoking, other tobacco products, and keep sugar to a minimum.
Hydrate and eat right
Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day. Hydration plays a role in keeping your mouth healthy. It washes substances off of your teeth so they can’t take root in between brushings.
You also want to eat a balanced diet filled with whole foods. That can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease by providing you with the nutrients you need to keep your body strong and your mouth healthy.
Start Your Better Oral Hygiene Practice Today
In short, proper oral hygiene contributes to keeping your overall health in check.
In the quest for knowledge, scientists are constantly discovering how mouth bacteria play a role in the body’s complete functioning. By practicing better oral hygiene, you’re taking control over your body today and in the future.
So, following the steps for oral care and lead a better life. We’ve given you the tools, and it’s up to you to use them.
What do you do daily to take care of your oral health? Tell us your tips and tricks in the comments!
Featured Image: CC0, via Freepik