Unlike most other parts of our bodies, our teeth are one of the body parts that we cannot naturally replace. Hence, taking care of our teeth is a worthy cause in and of itself. It can prevent a multitude of health issues, improve our quality of life, and save us money.
- For Health Reasons
Oral hygiene reveals a lot about the general health of a person. Saliva is an excellent diagnostic tool as well as one’s main line of defense against diseases. Saliva contains antibodies that defend the mouth from various bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
For instance, saliva contains a protein called histatin, which prevents an overgrowth of a fungus called candida albicans. This fungus thrives when there is an imbalance of healthy and unhealthy flora in the mouth. A multitude of reasons causes this imbalance, key among them being poor oral hygiene. The fungus can cause oral thrush and it can travel down the gut and cause digestive problems.
Poor oral care can also result lead to the formation of plaque and tartar. Tartar is impossible to remove with a toothbrush and with time, it hardens around the gum. Tartar can accelerate an overgrowth of bacteria which might attack the soft tissue of the gum making it inflamed, painful, and loose (gingivitis). If not treated, the gum can pull away from the teeth and form pockets that are susceptible to bacterial infection (periodontitis).
Lastly, poor oral care can cause dental cavities. Apart from teeth loss, dental cavities can also cause abscesses, jaw pain, headaches, or in extreme cases, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain.
- For Aesthetic and Social Reasons
As vain and trivial as this reason might sound, people are visual beings. We choose who we want to socialize with on account of their physical appearance. For starters, a full straight, healthy set of teeth is responsible for defining our facial structure. A loss of one or two teeth can make a significant impact on our appearance.
Similarly, a smile takes center stage of your appearance, and that is why it is crucial to have it looking presentable. A smile can make or break an entire look. Plaque, cavities, and tartar are unsightly, and on top of that, they might make your mouth smelly (halitosis).
Taking care of your teeth also ensures that they stay healthy as you get older. In essence, good oral hygiene will give you confidence and improve the quality of your social life.
- For Economic Reasons
It is no secret that replacing damaged teeth is expensive. Most insurance companies do not (provide adequate) cover for dental care, and especially when the procedures are considered cosmetic. Which might have two implications; either fork the hefty amount from your budget or commit to saving up for months on end to have decent teeth. Neither of these two options is easy nor necessary. Taking care of your teeth now might save you thousands in dental costs later.
Proper oral care entails;
- Brushing your teeth after every meal or at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. This includes cleaning the gums and the tongue as well.
- Flossing daily.
- Making regular visits to your dentist, ideally twice a year.
- Eating a well-balanced diet.
- Avoiding tobacco products.
There is a right and wrong way to brush your teeth. Firstly, ensure your brush is of good quality and has soft bristles. Rough bristles might erode your teeth enamel or injure your gums, exposing you to infections. The best brushing technique is a combination of gentle circular motions and short back-and-forth motions. Be especially gentle around the gums and don’t forget to scrape your tongue lightly!