It is common knowledge that oral hygiene is important for preventing dental problems such as tooth decay, cavities, and bad breath. However, it is a lesser-known fact that oral hygiene can also significantly impact a person’s overall health and well-being.

Experts suggest that all diseases related to the mouth, especially those left untreated due to poor oral hygiene, can lead to serious health problems elsewhere in the body. This is especially concerning considering that more than 1 out of every 5 Americans suffers from poor dental hygiene.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of oral hygiene in your life and list the best practices you can follow to improve your oral health.

1. Improves Oral Health

The most important effect of good oral hygiene is good oral health. Taking care of oral hygiene helps prevent tooth decay, maintain gum health, eliminate bad breath, and reduce plaque buildup. 

All these help you avoid oral infections that cause unnecessary discomfort and save you painful trips to the dentist. 

Additionally, taking care of your oral health helps protect your pearly whites so you can confidently flash your gorgeous smile.

2. Prevents Oral Diseases

Oral diseases can range from harmless cavities that can be treated with simple procedures like tooth extractions to serious problems such as oral cancer that can be life-threatening. By taking care of your oral hygiene, you can protect yourself against bacteria and infection and spot early signs of oral diseases. Additionally, one of the fundamentals of good oral hygiene practices is regular dental checkups, which can help detect any signs of oral disease you may have missed. 

You can maintain good oral health and prevent oral diseases with good oral hygiene, such as timely checkups. 

3. Maintains Nutritional Health

Oral health is closely linked with your nutritional health because the state of your oral health directly determines what you can and cannot eat. For instance, people suffering from problems such as sensitivity and tooth decay have difficulty chewing or swallowing certain foods. 

By taking care of your oral hygiene, you can protect yourself against such problems and maintain a healthy diet that is rich and nutritious.

4. Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease

Poor oral hygiene can lead to many non-oral medical issues, such as heart and respiratory diseases. Your mouth is the primary gateway leading to your digestive and respiratory tract. 

That means that any harmful bacteria that enter the mouth can easily find their way into the bloodstream, which can cause inflammation and lead to issues such as endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, and other serious medical problems.

With good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, you can eliminate harmful bacteria before they can take root and cause serious harm.

5. Reduces the Risk of Premature Birth

It might surprise you, but poor oral health is a serious concern for pregnant women as it increases the risk of premature birth. The reason is quite simple. Poor oral hygiene leads to gum disease (periodontitis), and the resulting inflammation can have labor-inducing effects during pregnancy. 

As a result, the risk of preterm labor is six times more in pregnant women with gum disease than in their counterparts.

By taking care of their oral hygiene, expecting mothers can reduce the risk of premature birth and low birth weight in their babies.

6. How can I Improve my Oral Hygiene?

Good oral hygiene practices are easy and simple to follow. However, consistency is key. To build a good oral hygiene routine, follow these guidelines:

a) Brush your Teeth

Brushing your teeth is the most basic oral hygiene practice and the most effective. Make it a habit to brush your teeth every day after breakfast and before bed. 

We recommend using fluoride-infused toothpaste for best results. 

b) Don’t Skip Flossing

Although brushing does a fair job of cleaning your teeth, toothbrushes do not reach some crevices and cracks. 

Therefore, you must not forget to floss your teeth. By cleaning your teeth with dental floss, you can ensure no plaque buildup between your teeth.

c) Use a Mouthwash

A mouthwash can help prevent various tooth and gum problems, including cavities. Follow up your teeth brushing routine with a simple mouthwash rinse. To achieve the best results, use the mouthwash for at least 30 seconds, and do not rinse your mouth afterward for at least half an hour.

d) Visit the Dentist

Regular dental checkups are an essential part of maintaining good oral hygiene. Regardless of how well you look after your mouth, a family dentist can better assess your oral health and identify any problems needing treatment.

Therefore, schedule an appointment with your dentist every six months.

e) Cut Down on Sugar

Sugary drinks and caffeine are harmful to oral health. Therefore, you can improve your oral health by reducing your intake. Instead, use less harmful alternatives such as herbal teas and fresh juices to maintain good oral health.

f) Avoid Tobacco

Smoking and ingesting tobacco lead to many health issues, including oral health problems. Gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer are some of the issues caused due to tobacco. This also applies to cigarette alternatives such as e-cigarettes and vaping. 

Final Words

The human body is like a complex machine with many different parts. Each of these parts has a role that must be performed in harmony with the other components to ensure smooth operation and functioning. 

Like all machines, a malfunction in any part can cause the entire machine to stop operating properly.

Since oral health is often referred to as a window to one’s overall health, it is no surprise that poor oral hygiene affects many aspects of a person’s health. 

Now that you know the importance of good oral health for your overall health, you must consciously incorporate good oral hygiene practices into your routine.