Basic dental care involves getting into a routine of brushing and flossing on a regular basis, and putting into practice the oral habits that will help you enjoy not only a healthy smile, but improved overall health. A key part of your basic dental health care is receiving dental cleanings and exams from your dentist and hygienist at regular intervals (the American Dental Association recommends that you receive this preventive treatment every 6 months). We have provided the following information about basic dental care to aid you in taking care of your oral health:
Basic dental health is more than simply practicing good oral hygiene. As the mouth is a gateway to the body, keeping your teeth and gums healthy will also affect your overall health. Your oral health can have an effect on other medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, pregnancy complications, and osteoporosis. The reverse is also true, pre-existing medical conditions may affect your oral health. This may occur through the use of drugs and medications, genetics, or other factors. Even the material and procedures used in dental or medical treatments may have an effect on your oral or overall health.
Maintaining good oral habits with regards to basic dental care can prevent a number of dental problems and inconveniences, including:
- Tooth decay
- The need for fillings, crowns, implants, and other costly restorative procedures
- Periodontal disease, which can damage gum tissue and the supporting bone structure in your mouth, and can lead to the loss of teeth
- Frequent and/or lengthy visits with your dentist and hygienist
- The development of bacteria that lead to decay, gum disease, and bad breath
- Staining on your tooth enamel from food, drinks, medication, and tobacco use
- Tooth loss
We recommend that you avoid foods containing large amounts of sugar, as this will provide a food source for the acid-producing bacteria in your mouth, and may lead to the development of cavities and gum disease. The use of tobacco products can also cause gum disease and oral infections. Smoke and second-hand smoke can also trigger problematic health conditions.
We hope that you find this information helpful when making decisions about your dental health needs. If you have further questions, please contact your dentist.