We explain why it’s important to keep your mouth squeaky clean and minty fresh.
Good health starts with a clean mouth. You probably first heard this from your parents, or maybe from your childhood dentist. Hopefully, you listened to them and still brush at least twice a day and floss. But what you might not have heard is that brushing and flossing will not only give you a winning smile — it will also help you avoid nasty illnesses.
While most of us were taught to take good care of our teeth, the connections between oral hygiene and your overall health are not always obvious. Let’s run through some of the biggest benefits of good dental care.
With Plaque Comes Trouble
We’ve all heard that the buildup of plaque has plenty of negative ramifications, but it’s common to think that those stop at cavities and root canals — which are no fun in their own right. However, if the state of one’s teeth and gums begins to more seriously deteriorate, the issues can become more severe.
For example, maintaining a clean mouth will greatly lower your risk of developing several different types of cancer. According to babble.com, researchers found that patients who had experienced premature tooth loss were 136% more likely to contract esophageal cancer, 68% more likely to contract head and neck cancer, and 58% more likely to contract lung cancer.
Unfortunately, the list of risks continues. A 2010 study conducted in Scotland concluded that people who brush their teeth infrequently had a 70% higher chance of developing some sort of heart disease, such as heart attacks or strokes.
In addition, those with diabetes run a higher risk of developing some kind of periodontal disease (as detailed here by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research), making it that much more important for them to maintain good oral health.
Finally, expectant mothers should make certain to grab their toothbrushes and floss, because some mothers-to-be experience what’s called pregnancy gingivitis (explained here by the American Pregnancy Association). According to the Journal of Dental Research, pregnant women with periodontitis are also at a higher risk of low birthweight and preterm births.
A Clean Mouth = A Clean Bill of Health
The good news is that almost everything you need to practice great oral hygiene is already in your bathroom cabinet. And when it’s not, a visit to the dentist usually yields these freebies! Brushing and flossing twice daily will get you on the right track, and as we just found out, the added benefits are well worth it.
Along with putting in some daily initiative, good dental health also requires an annual checkup to keep your chompers in top shape. Unfortunately, many healthcare providers don’t cover dental care — that’s why SingleCare is here to help.
Whether you have insurance or not, patients can easily set up dental appointments through SingleCare and save up to 60% on the out-of-pocket price. SingleCare is not insurance, meaning there are no monthly premiums necessary to get the quality care that your teeth need. So keep your teeth and your body in great shape by making an appointment with one of our dentists today.
(Main image credit: Joseph Morris/flickr)