A healthy mouth is not only good for your confidence, but it is also imperative for your overall health. Bacteria is the number-one culprit behind most dental problems. Therefore, you should be brushing and flossing every day. However, as it turns out, daily brushing and flossing alone are not enough to ward off unwanted bacteria and dental problems, read on to discover 10 surprising facts you didn't know about dental hygiene.1. Dental Hygiene is Important to Your Overall Health -
Improper oral hygiene can lead to high levels of bacteria, which can lead to plaque, tooth decay and gum disease
. When large amounts of oral bacteria leaks into the bloodstream it can weaken the immune system as well as damage the heart and lead to heart attacks and other health issues.2. Dental Check Ups Are Great for Cancer Screening -
In addition to being a certified hygienist; your dentist is also a specialist in oral cancer screening. As your dentist examines your mouth for dental problems, they are also prodding and poking for signs of oral cancer.3. Breath Odor Can Be a Sign of Serious Dental Problems -
Sometimes the best way your dentist can be alerted to dental problems, is by smelling your breath. So, skip the pleasant cover ups before your appointment for a more thorough visit.4. Nighttime is When Bacteria are the Most Active -
Oral bacteria is most active during the wee hours, which can lead to infection, cavities and other dental problems, so be sure to hit the hay with a fresh mouth.5. Sour Candies Can Lead to Tooth Erosion -
Sugar, soft drinks and fruit juices aren't the only substances that can erode your teeth. As it turns out, ultra sour, sticky, sugary candies and even sour gummy vitamins have a really low pH, which can cause tooth erosion. Brushing with baking soda periodically or consuming chewing gum products that contain Recaldent or Xylitol can help ward off bacteria, deter tooth decay, and remineralize the teeth.6. Metal Piercings Can Damage Your Teeth -
Tongue and lip piercings can wreak havoc on your oral health. Not only are they breeding grounds for bacteria, but each time you speak, the metal hits your teeth, which can fracture the teeth and cause them to wear quicker, leading to oral deformities and missing teeth.7. Your Toothbrush Should Be Switched Out After a Cold, the Flu or Other Viral Infections -
Microbes can embed themselves in your toothbrush bristles, and each time you brush your teeth; you can re-infect yourself with these microbes. So in addition to swapping out your toothbrush every three months, you should also be sure to switch your toothbrush out after an illness, to avoid getting sick again.8. Capping Your Toothbrush Can Harbor Bacteria -
Capping your toothbrush can trap moisture, which can encourage bacteria growth. So leave the cap off, especially when traveling, to allow your toothbrush to air out.9. Do Not Store Your Toothbrush Near the Toilet -
Each time you flush, dangerous bacteria can travel as far as six feet. So store your toothbrush a safe distance from the toilet to avoid airborne particles from coming in contact with your toothbrush.10. Too Much Fluoride Can Be Bad for Your Teeth -
When children swallow too much fluoride, it can cause their teeth to become porous, also known as fluorosis. This condition can first appear as white spots on the teeth, and can eventually turn brown. And since this condition is more of an internal issue, dentists cannot simply polish it away. To avoid the risk of your child swallowing excessive fluoride, be sure to use just a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on their toothbrush, and supervise them while brushing their teeth to ensure they spit out the paste as opposed to swallowing it. Alternatively, opt for fluoride-free toothpaste until they get the hang of it.
Be sure to schedule dental exams every six months to help your hygienist stay on top of minor dental issues before they become a major problem, which can lead to painful procedures and costly repairs. In the meantime, try incorporating these useful tips in between visits to help keep your mouth healthy, which will help your visits go more smoothly, and make your dentist proud.
Please contact Dr. Marichia Attalla
for a free consultation regarding any questions or concerns about your periodontal health.