Our mouths are something we use every day, so taking care of it should always be a top priority. Taking care of your mouth means you should routinely brush, floss, use mouthwash, and even visually check the appearance of your mouth for anything out of the ordinary. Believe it or not, one can tell a lot about the overall health of an individual just by looking into their mouth. When your dentist peers into your mouth they aren’t just looking at your teeth – instead they are looking outside the box as well for anything out of the ordinary that may signal a more serious underlying health condition – including things such as redness, swelling, bumps, bad breath, sores, and more. Just by looking inside the mouth, dentists can tell how well an individual is hydrated, and if they are showing signs of oral cancer, diabetes, anemia, autoimmune diseases, acid reflux disease, or kidney disease.
Amazing, right? Issues within the mouth can indicate a variety of underlying health conditions, and with your routine dental exam, you may be able to catch them early and intervene before the illness spirals out of control. Now that you know this, please don’t keep rescheduling your next routine office visit for cleaning because your oral health is essential. Keep in mind that oral issues can develop quickly and progress just the same, and the scary thing is you may not even notice them until maybe they cause you pain – which then may be too late.
Good oral health not only involves brushing your teeth daily, but optimal oral hygiene also includes using mouthwash, flossing, and even doing a visual check of your mouth and gums on a routine basis to make sure everything looks “normal” for you. The benefits of brushing the teeth are obvious, but why is flossing so important? I mean it is two more minutes of your time that could be spent elsewhere since you’re probably always in a hurry – plus what does flossing do anyways? Listen up, because there are some reasons why you should never skip out on flossing.
One. Flossing does about 40 percent of the work that is required to remove all that sticky, harsh bacteria from your mouth and teeth that can turn into plaque. plaque is that nasty substance that settles quickly onto your teeth causes cavities, irritates the gums and can lead to gum disease. Plaque starts to harden within hours of that last time you ate, and once 48 hours have passed, that nasty substance will be stuck to your teeth quite firmly, leaving a professional cleaning the best way to remove it. Each one of your teeth has a total of 5 surfaces, and if you skip out on flossing at least two whole surfaces do not get cleaned, and over time all that bacteria builds, and builds, and builds and – well you know – causes bad things to happen.
Two. Your gums really will stop bleeding. Are you hesitant to floss because you see blood each time you do? The truth is if you routinely floss the bleeding will stop because if the bacteria around your gum line is kept to a minimum, the fewer blood cells your body will have to send to the area to fight off the bacteria. Therefore, the more you floss, the less blood you’ll see. Try it for yourself!
Three. The rest of your body will thank you. The more clean and healthy your mouth is, the better off you are at reducing your chances at predisposing yourself to more severe health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. Also, if you’ve already been unfortunate enough to have one of these illnesses, improvement of your oral health may help to improve and maintain your overall health, and possibly even slow the progression of the disease.
Four. “Cavity” is that word you hate to hear when you are the one laying in the dentist chair. Well, not only can cavities form on one tooth, but they can also develop in the crevices between your teeth. That is why flossing in between your teeth to clean out all that unwanted bacteria is so important, because a cavity between two teeth can lead to even more damage to your teeth and lead to more pain, dentist visits, and money spent for you.
Five. Pregnant or plan to become pregnant? You’ll be flossing for two; gum disease puts you at risk for prematurity and low birth weight in your vulnerable infant. Being a great mom doesn’t start when your child is born. Instead, it begins even before you conceive. You must take care of your body as well as you can to provide for a healthy environment for your offspring.
So now you can decide, is there anything satisfying or rewarding that comes from flossing your teeth? The final decision to floss your teeth is ultimately up to you, but the benefits of taking that extra couple minutes in front of the mirror could do wonders for your oral health and your overall health. Make flossing a part of your routine and schedule a routine checkup with Leslie B. Anthony, DMD today. Your body, your health, and even those around you will greatly appreciate it!