A better, more confident you begins every morning and ends every evening if you stick with a consistent oral hygiene routine. This, in addition to regular dentist office visits, helps develop not only strong teeth and gums, but also overall good health. You'll feel good, look great, avoid unnecessary bills, and experience an improvement in many of your day-to-day social interactions. It's easy once you understand the basic routines required to maintain good dental hygiene. Get started with some basic dental education and a thorough awareness of the steps that should and should not be taken toward great, long-term oral health.
Daily cleaning of your teeth, gums, and tongue, combined with annual check-ups helps ward off harmful bacteria and microbes that may cause tooth decay, bleeding gums, and oral infections. Proper oral hygiene is also important in helping you stay healthy, especially if you have risk factors such as diabetes and heart problems. Plus, oral hygiene elevates your sense of self-esteem. This is especially true for teenagers and adults who frequently interact with others at work or in social situations. Maintaining proper oral hygiene ensures that you won’t experience embarrassing conditions, such as plaque, tartar, and bad breath. It also lowers the need to treat dental problems that could otherwise be inexpensively prevented. For example, according to Kaiser Health News reports, dental costs make up approximately 20 percent of a child’s total health care expenses, and the costs are escalating rapidly.
Enforcing good oral hygiene habits early in a child’s life is essential for his overall well-being. According to a 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of cavities in children between the ages of two and five has escalated by 15 percent. Proper oral hygiene habits must start as early as the child begins to bottle feed. This is when babies are prone to tooth decay if they are given a bottle filled with sugary liquids, like milk or juice, when put to bed. While baby teeth should be cleaned using a washcloth, young babies should eventually have their teeth and tongues brushed using soft brushes. It is important for parents to teach children the proper way to brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste, to take them for regular dental check-ups, and to serve foods that will help strengthen teeth. These include milk, cheese, and vegetables.
Many adults experience significant dental problems that could be prevented through basic oral hygiene practices, like regular dentist appointments. For example, in 2009 alone, CDC data indicated that only 62 percent of adults surveyed had visited the dentist. To maintain optimal oral health, adults should brush their teeth at least twice a day, preferably after each meal and before going to bed. Flossing is also an essential part of an adult’s daily oral hygiene regimen. Regular brushing and flossing can prevent unpleasant conditions, such as plaque and bad odor. However, over-brushing or flossing may result in mouth bruises and bleeding, which can lead to infections. Adults should visit their dentist regularly for routine check-ups and before using over-the-counter medication.
Poor oral hygiene can increase your chances of developing heart disease. Professional teeth cleanings will reduce the bacteria that cause inflammation and eventually lead to heart disease (Veterans General Hospital in Taipei).According to the American Dental Hygienists Association:
Oral hygiene greatly affects overall long-term health, and promotes a more confident you. When it comes to dental care, prevention through daily cleaning and regular visits to the dentist’s office is better not only for your health, but for your budget. That's why it's important for parents to play a key role in reinforcing smart oral hygiene habits. Kids are likely to follow in the footsteps of those who set positive examples and will carry those healthy habits through their own adult lives. Remember, whatever your age, it’s never too late to take a serious stand in keeping your teeth healthy and your smile confident.
Humana offers different plans to meet different needs. Our affordable dental insurance and vision plans are easy to understand and easy to purchase. You get access to a large network of dental providers. And there's no underwriting. That means you won't be turned down because of dental problems you have now or have had in the past.
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