Why is Dental Hygiene so Important?

Why is Dental Hygiene so Important?

So, what are the reasons that make keeping up with dental hygiene so important? 

The first is that the mouth is full of bacteria. No matter how good your dental hygiene routine is, these bacteria will always be present. They are brought into the mouth through normal, everyday activities such as eating, drinking, biting nails, etc. In general, they present no problem; indeed if good hygiene rules are followed then there will be minimal numbers anyway. However, in cases where gum disease (otherwise known as periodontal disease) is present then these bacteria can access the bloodstream very easily, through the inflammation or infection of the tissues that surround the teeth. In this instance gum disease can lead to illnesses such heart problems and diabetes. Hence the regular removal of the bacteria causing periodontal disease is essential. Gum disease can generally be broken down into two types depending on the severity of it. The first is known as gingivitis and the more severe form is periodontitis.  


Some people are more susceptible to dental problems than others. Gum disease can be hereditary, but it also occurs without that genetic link. If you take the factors of natural susceptibility, plus poor dental hygiene, then you end up with a situation where loss of teeth is a likely outcome. And not only that – once teeth are lost then dentures become the only option for replacement because there is not enough bone left for implants.  


Statistics these days show that people are not only keeping their teeth for longer, but that this together with the aging population means that there is the added problem of root decay. This occurs naturally over time, however it can be mitigated by good, regular cleaning. Many dentists these days recommend two minutes of thorough brushing, with a high concentration fluoride toothpaste, covering all tooth surfaces with a medium to firm manual toothbrush. They also advise to be careful to ensure that all teeth, even those that are difficult to reach, are covered. Flossing will take care of the gaps between the teeth, though technique is important here. Rather than just running the floss back and forth between the teeth, you must take care to pull it taut around each side of the tooth and then use a forwards and backwards motion to dislodge any food particles that are stuck there. Finally, most periodontists would recommend rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash to remove the dislodged particles.    


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