To talk about our digestive system, we should begin by naming a crucial part, the mouth (with all its components such as teeth, gums, tongue, etc.), which is essential to process our food. If our mouth has any disease, our physical health will be affected, our digestion, and even our self-esteem. Now, we will talk about the importance of oral hygiene in learning to better care for it.
What is Oral Hygiene?
Oral hygiene includes the processes that keep our gums, teeth, tongue, and the mouth in general clean and healthy, allowing us to have fresh breath, preserve our teeth, and not suffer discomfort or pain. Dental hygiene has to be part of our habits, cleaning our teeth at least twice a day.
Why is Oral Hygiene important?
The importance of oral hygiene is that it allows us to keep our gums healthy so that our teeth will remain healthy and will be able to fulfill their function. We can also avoid other diseases and complications, such as the following:
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there is a link between gum (periodontal) disease and health complications such as stroke and heart disease. Women with gum disease also show a higher incidence of premature birth.
Other research shows that more than 90% of systemic diseases (diseases that affect multiple organs or the entire body) have oral manifestations, including swollen gums, mouth ulcers, and dry mouth. Examples of these systemic diseases are diabetes, leukemia, oral cancer, pancreatic cancer, heart disease, kidney disease; so, realizing that we have oral disease, we could identify a symptom of systemic disease and go from our dentist to our doctor.
Poor oral health can lead to problems. Suppose you do not take care of your teeth and gums. In that case, you can suffer oral and facial pain, tooth loss, problems with the heart and other essential organs (from mouth infections), digestion problems that can lead to intestinal failure or colon syndrome irritability, among others.
How can I have good Oral Hygiene?
You must go to the dentist regularly, at least twice a year, especially in children, were looking at the teeth. Also, you can detect poor nutrition, growth and development alterations, and poor jaw alignment. Even at home, you need to take care of your oral health every day by doing the following:
- Brush your teeth for two to three minutes, at least three times a day, with fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss daily before sleep to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Eat healthy food to provide the necessary nutrients (vitamins A and C, mainly) to prevent gum disease.
- Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which can contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.
Oral health is vital for us to be well, so it is necessary that we worry about getting into the habit of brushing our teeth correctly and that we go to the dentist as recommended. As always, prevention is better than cure.
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