Improve Your Health in Just 7 Minutes a Day with Good Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene is something most of us learn about as children, either from our dental visits or through education at school. As adults, however, we can tend to underestimate the importance of good dental hygiene for our overall health.

Today on the SCR Clinic blog we want to share with you the link between dental hygiene and overall health. With a minuscule time investment, you can boost your health, starting today!

The Importance of Dental Hygiene for Overall Health
We tend to think of our mouth and dental health as somehow separate from our overall health, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Our dental health can affect our overall health and illnesses can produce symptoms which show up in the mouth.

Medical professionals can tell a lot about a person’s health just through their mouth. 90% of systemic diseases, those are ones that affect the entire body, display symptoms in the mouth. This can help a doctor or dentist spot a health concern early so that you can get treatment.

Saliva also holds lots of secrets about your health. Through saliva testing doctors can test for hormones, antibodies, bone loss and even for some cancer markers.

Effects of Poor Dental Hygiene

While good dental hygiene keeps your mouth healthy, if you don’t look after your dental health it can have serious effects on your health.
No matter how clean we keep our mouth, there are about 500 types of bacteria that live in there all the time. They form plaque on the teeth which if not removed can build up causing tooth decay and gum disease.
Gum disease in itself isn’t pleasant, but recent research suggests there is a link between gum disease and a difficulty in controlling diabetes, increased risk of cardiovascular disease and, in
pregnant women, an increased risk of giving birth before reaching full-term.

Establishing a Good Dental Hygiene Routine

It doesn’t take much to establish a good dental hygiene routine. All you need is about 7 minutes per day to keep your mouth, teeth and gums in good nick.

The first and most important step is to brush twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush the right size for your mouth and brush in circles back and forth. You need to be careful to brush all surfaces of the teeth and the tongue.
Get into the habit of avoiding a final rinse of your mouth after brushing your teeth. This allows some of the toothpaste to remain in your mouth and protect your teeth during the day.
Store your toothbrush upright in an area where it can dry off between uses. Avoid using toothbrush caps which can create an environment in which bacteria can thrive.

Next, use dental floss or an interdental brush to reach those cervices between the teeth that your toothbrush can’t clean properly. At the start, you may experience some light bleeding as your teeth get used to the new sensation. Don’t let this be a reason to stop, the bleeding should stop with practice.

Finally, if you want to, you can use a mouthwash to rinse your mouth and keep it clean and healthy.

That’s it, about three and a half minutes in the morning and before bed will set you up for good dental hygiene.
When you maintain this dental hygiene routine and schedule regular dental check-ups, your teeth and your overall health will thank you for it.

Get Professional Help

Even with a great dental hygiene routine at home, there are times when we all need to get the professional help of a dentist. It is wise to schedule an annual check-up as part of your dental hygiene routine. During your visit, which is free for those in the PRSI system, your dentist will check your teeth and perform a scale and polish to remove tartar. During the polishing stage, your teeth are buffed to keep them bright and shiny and remove any crevices where plaque might accumulate in future.

However, if you are concerned about your teeth or oral health then don’t delay in picking up the phone. If you experience bleeding gums regularly, or gums that are red and sore, pain when eating or notice new sensitivity, it can be a good idea to visit your dentist as there may be a problem developing which needs to be treated.

Although it can be tempting to put off a dental visit, when we’re experiencing symptoms and don’t get them checked, the condition and associated pain worsen. Prompt action can mean less pain and better health.

Contact us to schedule your appointment for a dental check-up at SCR Clinic on 01 - 454 9688.


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