Self-care: Taking Care of Your Oral Health

To maintain your overall health, you must ensure good oral health. According to the World Health Organization, oral health is a window to an individual’s overall health. Therefore, an individual is protected from a variety of diseases by maintaining good oral health. Based on statistics, oral diseases have affected 3.5 billion people worldwide. Some of these diseases have even resulted in 180,000 annual deaths.

Part of maintaining oral health is good dental hygiene practices. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines dental hygiene as a way to protect the mouth, gums, and teeth from oral diseases. It is, therefore, essential to know how to have proper dental hygiene and why maintaining good oral health is vital.

1. Prevents Oral Health Conditions

As mentioned above, keeping good oral health is necessary to avoid health implications. Some health issues associated with bad oral health are tooth decay, gum disease, endocarditis, and even pneumonia.

  • Tooth Decay

When a person neglects proper dental hygiene, a person may be prone to tooth decay. Tooth decay happens the tooth enamel is destroyed; enamel is destroyed through acids produced by bacteria in plaque. Though it is more common with kids, adults can have the same dental issue, too.

  • Gum Disease

Another result of plaque build-up is gum disease. When plaque accumulates along the gums, it hurts the gums and causes tenderness and bleeding. This disease is known as gingivitis. Periodontitis is more severe than gingivitis and must be treated by a dentist; if not treated, this disease can lead to chewing problems and teeth loss.

  • Endocarditis

Endocarditis is a heart disease that occurs due to bacteria or germs that spread through the bloodstream. Bad bacteria and germs can travel to the blood and the heart through the mouth. Common symptoms of endocarditis are heart murmurs, fever, night sweats, and decreased appetite.

  • Pneumonia

Like endocarditis, pneumonia happens due to bacteria that travel to the body through the mouth. Particularly, the disease affects the lungs that cause shortness of breathing, coughing, and chills.

2. Aids Digestion

Good oral health is essential for proper food digestion. Chewing and swallowing food are the first steps of the digestion process that helps a body absorb all the nutrients it needs. Having oral diseases prevents this from happening and can also lead to eating disorders; eating disorders are also associated with other complications.

3. Boosts Self-confidence

Oral health is also necessary to communicate properly with other people. Talking and speaking clearly is essential with effective communication. Aside from verbal communication, oral health highly affects a person’s nonverbal communication.

Having a healthy oral condition boosts a person’s self-confidence. Such attitude is essential in how individuals interact with other people; it affects how they build personal and professional relationships.

Because of these reasons, it can be said that how a person takes care of one’s oral health can be life-changing. Therefore, measures to keep it healthy are essential in improving a person’s life.

woman flossing

Taking Care of Your Oral Health

Just as discussed above, protecting one’s oral health is connected with good dental hygiene. One can easily take care of the mouth and teeth through very simple steps. Additionally, when complications arise, there are always experts one can consult; a quick trip to the dentist may just save you from a variety of diseases.

As simple reminders, these are easy steps to keeping good dental hygiene.

  • Brushing Teeth

One must brush their teeth at least two times a day. One must not forget to brush their teeth before going to bed. This ensures that germs and bacteria will not accumulate in the mouth through plaque acquired during the entire day.

Also, do not forget to brush the tongue. Bacteria and germs can accumulate in the tongue, too, and not brushing it can cause bad breath or other complications.

  • Flossing

Flossing is making sure that pieces of food stuck between teeth are removed. Doing so will prevent plaque build-up as well as inflammation of the gum. For children and the elderly, flossing might be harder to do, but it is not an excuse. There are different kinds of dental flossers available in drugstores that can help the process easier for these age groups.

  • Visiting the Dentist

A person must visit the dentist at least two times a year. Not only can a dentist treat oral diseases and provide dental implants, but they can also advise you on how you can prevent these diseases.

Those who have dental insurances do not even have to spend a dime on dental check-ups. There is no reason, then, not to visit the dentist.

Final Thoughts

You can do these simple steps to take care of your oral health, and they are highly impactful. A person’s oral health can affect their physical and mental health and change how they interact with society.

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