by Kris Pitcher
Great oral care and hygiene are really important to your overall health. You didn't think we were talking about something else here, did you?
I have always loved going to the dentist. I know I might be the minority. But I grew up valuing good oral care and having great experiences. Except when I got my mouth washed out with soap...
My teeth aren't perfect, but I never needed braces. I'm a grinder and I've got crowns to prove it. I've even broken crowns...you don't want to get between me and my molars.
Brushing and flossing regularly (and you know how I love my floss) is the key to great oral care. At my recent appointment, I had a chance to brag to the hygienist that I am indeed a good spitter - as she handed me a moist wipe just in case I missed the cup after my fluoride treatment. It's a hidden talent, what can I say.
Your check up reveals important things about your health. You can actually detect vitamin deficiencies in your mouth. Not getting enough iron can cause sores at the corners of the mouth, and can lead to a sore tongue. Vitamin C deficiency causes gums to easily bruise and bleed, and may lead to tooth loss. Vitamin D deficiency boosts the risk of jaw fracture and gum disease. So, it's important to have your mouth checked out.
Good oral hygiene habits also help reduce the amount of bacteria in your blood stream. Every time you brush your teeth you release some bacteria into your mouth. That's not usually a problem. But when your gums are inflamed from gingivitis or other problems, you release a much higher load of bacteria, and that can contribute to health problems. The best way to prevent inflammation and gum disease is to brush and floss your teeth regularly.
You're also going to be screened for oral cancer...that's why they grab your tongue and look all around. So, besides having smooth clean pearly whites, it's important to have your regular dental check ups. Besides, you get your little bag of goodies...including a tiny thing of floss!
For the sake of your overall health, you need to be great with your oral health care too! Smile!