When most people think of brushing and flossing, they think about keeping a healthy smile, preventing dental carries and gum disease, and keeping breath fresh and minty. Proper oral hygiene is about more than clean teeth and fresh breath; it is one of the best ways to help maintain good overall health.
Your teeth are the first step in the digestive process – you use them to chew your food! Practicing good oral hygiene habits helps maintain lasting durability and function of your teeth. Poor habits can lead to cavities, tooth loss, and infected or inflamed gums, all of which hamper your ability to eat health foods. Why? Because when your teeth give you pain, you’r less likely to eat fresh, vitamin rich foods which leads to better long-term health.
Total Body Health
It’s not an easy jump to make between having clean, well-cared for teeth and being healthy overall, but science continues to find links between oral and general health. For example:
Women with gum disease show a greater incidence of pre-term, low-birth-weight babies.
People with poor oral hygiene show an increased risk of developing heart disease.
Infections of the mouth pose serious risks to other major organs
Problems chewing can lead to intestinal failure, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders.
So what makes up good oral hygiene?
Good oral hygiene is everything you do to keep your mouth, teeth and especially your gums healthy. Doing this though requires more than brushing once a day. Make sure your daily oral care includes:
Brushing thoroughly at least twice a day
Flossing at least once a day
Using a mouthwash will help kill germs but isn’t totally necessary