It sounds like a no-brainer: brush your teeth. But why? From a young age, we learn that brushing our teeth is an important habit. However, we don’t always learn the “why.” Yes, it helps prevent tooth decay and bad breath, but there are also a host of health benefits associated with brushing and good oral hygiene. Sometimes, understanding the “why” is the best way to form life-long, healthy habits.
If you thought brushing was only good for your teeth, it is time to re-examine the many reasons why brushing is good for you, starting with:
Prevent Tooth Loss and Tooth Decay
Yes, this is typically the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the benefits of brushing. Brushing can decrease the risk of tooth decay and eventually tooth loss. Yet, consider how tooth decay and tooth loss can impact the rest of your body. Without strong teeth, it can be hard to consume a healthy and balanced diet. Some fruits, vegetables, and even proteins may be off the menu because they are too hard to chew. An unbalanced diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Prevent Gum Disease
Brushing doesn’t just clean your teeth. It cleans your entire mouth, gums and tongue included. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums and the first stage of gum disease. It is caused by plaque that builds up around the teeth and leads to swollen gums. Brushing helps keep this plaque at bay and keeps gums healthy.
Prevent Bad Breath
Bad breath is caused by the buildup of bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria can cause foul odors and result in halitosis or bad breath. Brushing can help clear out the bacteria, freshening your breath in the process.
Helps Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke
Brushing your teeth is good for the… heart? Many studies say yes. Studies published by the American Heart Association link poor oral hygiene to cardiovascular disease. The bacteria responsible for causing gingivitis may travel through the body, causing inflammation and vascular damage, particularly to the heart and brain.
Protects the Brain
Brushing may not only be good for the heart, but it may help keep the brain healthy as well. Studies have found a link between poor oral care and the development of dementia later in life. Protecting your teeth may also protect your brain.
Healthy Brushing for Two
Pregnancy can take a toll on oral health. Hormonal changes can result in “pregnancy gingivitis” and swollen or bleeding gums. Morning sickness and frequent vomiting can also wear down tooth enamel. What most soon-to-be mothers don’t always realize is that a mother’s oral health can impact the health of her unborn baby. Excess bacteria in the mouth may enter the bloodstream through sensitive gum tissue. The bacteria can travel to the uterus, where it can trigger the production of a chemical called prostaglandin. This chemical may induce premature labor.
These benefits of brushing are only the tip of the iceberg. It seems as if every year, a new study comes out linking poor oral health to an increased risk of developing a dangerous medical condition. Regular brushing and dental visits not only benefit your oral health but your overall health and wellbeing.
At Babylon Dental Care, we are committed to giving our patients excellent care and service in a friendly and comforting environment. To schedule your next visit, call us at (631) 983-6665 or visit us online.