Welcome to a new year of resolutions, goals, and establishing new habits and routines. We are far enough into January to know which habits may stick and which may change based on commitment or convenience. Hopefully, this is the year that you choose to embrace and improve your oral hygiene.

Oral health habits are not a trend to turn on or off with every new fad that comes your way. Taking care of your dental health is a lifelong commitment. Whether you are renewing your promise to follow good oral hygiene or you are brushing up on tips and advice after a lapse in care, the benefits cannot be denied.

Here, we discuss the importance of oral health and explain the benefits of improving your oral health this year.

Why is oral health important?

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is about more than just a beautiful smile. Your teeth have important roles in chewing, helping with digestion, and speaking. They provide structure to the cheeks and face helping you look younger. Additionally, your oral and overall health are connected; improving the health of your mouth benefits the body too.

Benefits of improved oral health

Let’s face it, there are no downsides to choosing to take care of your teeth and gums. The following are just a few of the top benefits to improving your dental health.

Prevents tooth decay and gum disease

Following good oral hygiene helps to prevent cavities and periodontal disease. Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing helps to keep plaque, tartar, and bacteria off your teeth and away from the gums. This keeps plaque from eating away at the tooth enamel and causing cavities. It also prevents bacteria from entering and spreading through the gums and causing gum disease.

Stops bad breath

Poor oral health is a common cause of bad breath. The collection of bacteria and food particles can add to the problem. Regular brushing and flossing remove these items. Scraping the tongue and using mouthwash may help too.

Additionally, dry mouth is a common cause of bad breath. A lack of saliva can cause decay and bad breath. Be sure to stay hydrated, chew sugar free gum, and avoid tobacco products.

Prevents more serious diseases

Without good oral habits and routine dental care, problems may go unchecked. General dental appointments are important for assessing oral health and looking for signs of decay, damaged teeth, and disease.

If plaque and bacteria are allowed to spread without proper care or treatment, more serious dental procedures will be needed to address the issues. For example, a small area of decay now can be easily filled and treated. If it is left to fester, it may grow to need a root canal or an extraction.

Poor oral health has also been linked to health problems such as heart disease, pregnancy or birth issues, and pneumonia. Improving your oral health means improving your overall health.

Brightens your smile

Regular brushing and flossing are simple ways to remove daily surface stains and food particles from the teeth. This is an easy way to keep your smile bright.

Along with that, regular cleanings with your hygienist do more than just check for tooth decay and gum disease. Your hygienist uses special tools to scrape off tartar. This helps to remove some of the yellowish staining that appears on the teeth.

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