When it comes to first impressions, good looking teeth and gums are one of the first things a person will notice about another person. However, having healthy gums and teeth is not only important for looking your best, but good oral hygiene is also essential for a person’s health.
Why Oral Hygiene is Important
According to the Department of Health, good oral hygiene is important for a person’s general health and wellbeing as it allows a person to perform their daily tasks free from pain and discomfort. Good oral hygiene has even been linked to professional sportspeople’s performance. A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicated that a fifth of the athletes that participated in the 2012 London Olympic games said their training and performance was affected by their oral health. The athletes said that tooth pain was a key contributor to sleep disruption, which had the potential to take a huge toll on their performance.
While good oral hygiene may be important, as many as 30% of Australians delay or avoid seeing a dentist because of the high costs associated with tooth care. The good news is there are options available for people who feel they cannot afford a trip to the dentist. Aside from accepting several dental payment plans and health funds, many reputable dentists offer their patients a range of ways to help ease the financial strain of consultations and procedures, including offering bulk billing.
A dentist who offers bulk billing accepts the prescribed Medicare benefit as full payment for any services rendered. This means that the patient will not be required to cover the remaining portion of the payment. If you’re looking for a bulk billing dentist in Brisbane, Pure Dentistry come highly recommended. Parents should consider bulk billing from Pure Dentistry as an option for any dental work their children may need in their early years as many tooth and gum issues can be avoided if they are treated early on in a person’s life. Pure Dentistry have experience working with young children and know how to put them at ease.
Aside from regular visits to a dentist, there are things that people can do every day to ensure that their teeth and gums stay healthy so that those regular visits are just for check-ups.
Don’t Forget to Floss
While daily brushing is imperative, people often forget the impact that frequent flossing can have on the health of their mouth. According to experts at the Australian Dental Association, Australian Society of Periodontology, and the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Periodontists, the act of flossing, or interdental cleaning, is essential to good oral hygiene as it disrupts and removes plaque and food that gets stuck in places where toothbrushes cannot reach.
Whether you floss before or after brushing, as long as you do both, you are sure to have healthier teeth and gums in no time.
Keep Your Diet in Check
Good oral hygiene starts with what a person puts into their body. A healthy diet goes a long way in helping keep a person’s gums and teeth healthy. Aside from avoiding eating too many sugary foods, some foods can help strengthen gums naturally. Foods such as apples contain natural acids that can assist in keeping teeth and gums healthy and strong. Fibrous vegetables such as carrots are also high on the list of recommended foods by dentists as they are a good source of vitamin A and fibre. Even the act of eating carrots can be good for a person. Eating a raw carrot increases the production of saliva in a person’s mouth, which can help reduce a person’s risk of cavities.
Another vegetable that dentists love to recommend is celery, as the act of eating a stick of this bland vegetable is almost like a free brush. As a person chews celery, the fibrous vegetable scrapes against the teeth, disrupting food particles and bacteria for a cleaner mouth.
Choose the Right Toothbrush
When it comes to good oral hygiene, choosing the right toothbrush is key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Experts say that the right toothbrush will have soft, rounded bristles so that brushing does not damage the gums. It is also important that a person chooses a toothbrush head that suits their mouth. A toothbrush’s bristles should be able to reach the molars at the back of the jaw and the brusher should be able to fit the toothbrush comfortably in those hard to reach places.
Some experts recommend the use of an electric toothbrush as they offer the best clean for the least effort; however, it can be difficult to find a toothbrush head that fits a person’s mouth for a specific electric toothbrush. If a person can find a toothbrush head that is suitable for them then electric toothbrushes can be a huge benefit, especially for users with limited dexterity such as those with arthritis. They are also good for children who may be reluctant brushers as they can seem more fun than a regular brush and they don’t require much finesse to give a good clean.
Put a Stop to Grinding
Bruxism, or tooth grinding, affects millions of people worldwide with the global COVID-19 pandemic reportedly having caused an increase in cases. According to Kimberly Harms, a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association, long-term bruxism can wear away at the enamel on a person’s teeth and even fracture existing fillings. Harms notes that some of the things that may cause a person to grind their teeth include stress and anxiety, bad teeth alignment, sleep apnoea, and the use of some medications.
Many people who suffer from bruxism are not even aware that they are grinding their teeth. If a person suffers from frequent headaches, jaw pain, and tightness or soreness in their facial muscles when they wake up, it is often undiagnosed bruxism that lies at the root of their issues.
So, how do you put an end to the damaging impact of bruxism? Experts recommend that a person first narrows down the reason for the grinding. Each person’s case may be different so it is important to visit a dentist who can assist in finding the cause of the issue in order to prescribe the correct treatment. They may recommend relaxation exercises before bed for those with anxiety-induced bruxism. For cases caused by bad teeth alignment, a good dentist will be able to recommend corrective surgery or braces and may even prescribe the use of a mouthguard.
Good oral health is the key to a long, healthy life. Ensuring that good hygiene habits are formed and followed every day can help keep teeth and gums healthy for longer so dentist visits don’t need to be a monthly arrangement.