Practicing good oral hygiene offers you a slew of benefits. Aside from giving you a million-dollar smile worthy of a Hollywood movie, proper oral hygiene has a host of other benefits, many of which might surprise you. While some benefits are obvious – you don’t get as many cavities, for example – other ones are not so apparent. If you care about your smile and your health, then here are five benefits of good oral hygiene.
1. Preventing Gum Disease
According to the Pharmacy Times, periodontal disease (or gum disease) becomes common among people who have reached age 45. The disease is characterized by receding and bleeding gums and tooth loss.
Gingivitis, which is the mildest and earliest form of gum disease, usually can be reversed with the right care. However, if gum disease is left for too long, the bone structures around the teeth and the gums themselves face permanent damage.
The best way to prevent this disease is pretty simple. Brush and floss two times a day and go to the dentist for regular visits.
2. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Who knew what goes on in your mouth could have a major affect on your heart and cardiovascular system? Well, according to WebMD, it does. Keeping gum disease at bay benefits your heart.
When your gums become chronically inflamed due to periodontal disease, then the inflammation can eventually affect your heart. It’s not uncommon to see people with gum disease have obstructions in the blood vessels, suffer from strokes and heart attacks, or face high blood pressure.
3. Improves Your Memory
The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry has reported that people who have gum disease also have a greater chance of having poor memory. This was measured by giving people two tests, one for subtraction and one for verbal recall. People with gum disease performed poorly on these tests.
4. Prevents Bad Breath
Halitosis, or bad breath as it’s more commonly known, causes social embarrassment and anxiety for those who are prone to it. It makes both business and social functions feel awkward and could possibly lead to social anxiety.
Fortunately, most of the time bad breath can be treated with by good oral hygiene practices, like daily brushing and flossing. You may find that an electric toothbrush works better for this than a standard manual one. Mouthwash may help, too.
There are other factors that contribute to bad breath, however. If you use tobacco products or you eat foods, like onions you can increase your chances of getting halitosis. Drinking alcohol is also known to cause a person’s breath to go South as does dry mouth.
If you have persistent bad breath, it may be necessary to visit your dentist to see if there is an underlying cause that you haven’t addressed yet. According to the Mayo Clinic, diseases like cancer, some metabolic disorders, and acid reflux reveal themselves in bad breath.
5. Greater Self-Esteem
Poor oral hygiene can be associated with a less-than-perfect smile as yellowing and cavities mar the teeth. Taking good care of your teeth ensures that you have a nice smile that you aren’t afraid to show.
Poor oral hygiene can cause tooth loss, bad breath, and other problems that can severely affect your confidence level and self-esteem, including in job interviews. According to Forbes, having bad teeth hinders some people’s ability to search for jobs. A full 28% of millennials have reported that having bad teeth has affected their willingness to hit the job market.
Last Words on the Benefits of Oral Hygiene
Who doesn’t want a megawatt smile? Most people, particularly those who suffer from a poor smile, would say that they definitely do. Practicing proper oral hygiene plays a big part in the beauty and health of your smile.
Bad oral hygiene contributes to gum disease, heart disease, bad breath, memory problems, and self-esteem issues. The simplest ways to combat these issues is to brush and floss each day, twice a day. It’s also important to regularly visit the dentist for a checkup and a teeth-cleaning at least twice a year.