Many patients know they should keep their teeth clean to keep them healthy, but what about a clean mouth? Your oral health is reflected not only in how clean you keep your teeth, but how well you take care of your gums and how clean your tongue is. It’s called “oral health” instead of “teeth health” because you should keep your entire mouth clean. Keeping your teeth brushed and flossed each day will help prevent tooth decay. If your gums are healthy and free of plaque, you will prevent gingivitis and gum disease from setting in. Keeping your tongue clean will lower the amount of bacteria you have in your mouth, preventing oral health problems and issues such as bad breath. When it comes to your oral health, it’s important to keep the entire mouth clean. Find out how you can today!
At Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we specialize in providing comprehensive children’s dental services in a safe, fun, and educational environment. Why? It’s in the early years that children learn the importance of a clean mouth and how much it affects their health as a whole. Children will begin to grow in their baby teeth around 6 months of age or later. Some infants receive teeth sooner, and some take up to age 3 to get their teeth. A child will have 20 baby teeth that will be smaller and more spaced out than an adult mouth. This is so that the jaws can continue growing until a child is ready to start receiving permanent teeth.
Children will start to lose their teeth around 6 or 7 years old and can lose them all the way into adolescence. That means that children have their baby teeth for quite a few years. Children also love sugary sweets and need guidance when it comes to combating cavities that sugar causes. Children do not yet have the motor skills to properly brush and floss the teeth when little. Parents must be vigilant about brushing and flossing their infant’s teeth as soon as they come in and in brushing their children’s teeth until a child learns how. Then, they must ensure that a child brushes several times a day to prevent cavities that decay the teeth. Baby teeth are smaller and more delicate, so cavities can destroy a mouth in a hurry if oral hygiene habits aren’t established to keep a clean mouth.
You may think that brushing and flossing the teeth come naturally to adults, but that’s not true. There are millions of Americans each day that don’t brush or floss their teeth, don’t do it properly, or don’t do it enough. Studies show that some people don’t even remember the last time they brushed their teeth twice a day or flossed. That creates quite a problem, as oral health and overall health and wellness can decline if you don’t take care of your mouth.
An adult still needs to take proper care of their teeth. A child’s baby teeth will eventually fall out, which leads to permanent, adult teeth that come in. These teeth are no less susceptible to cavities and decay. Just because they are referred to as “permanent” teeth doesn’t mean that they will permanently stay in the mouth if they are not cared for. There is a saying among many dentists that states, “You don’t have to brush all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep.” That saying is incredibly true for every person. You only receive one set of adult teeth that are supposed to last you many decades. You must take care of them to keep them, or you may find yourself toothless after just a few short years.
Some of the most chronic conditions worldwide have to do with the mouth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that tooth decay (a.k.a. cavities) are one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the United States and on a global scale. Gum disease as well affects more than 64.7 million American adults. That number doesn’t even include children that have gum problems! The interesting fact about both tooth decay and gum disease is that they are both 100% preventable if you keep a clean mouth. You do that through proper oral hygiene habits.
Tooth decay is caused when plaque is not removed from the teeth often enough. You get plaque in your mouth every single day as bacteria in your saliva mixes with sugars in the foods you eat. This creates an acidic substance (that plaque) that erodes your tooth enamel away and causes decay (cavities). Plaque also attacks and irritates the gums, causing them to become red, inflamed, and to even recede from the teeth. If oral hygiene habits don’t improve, the gums can recede enough that the teeth begin falling out. Many teeth can fall out very quickly, which is why you want to avoid gum disease in its entirety.
Your oral health is extremely important. How well you take care of your mouth is a reflection of how well you take care of the rest of your body. Problems with the mouth can lead to illnesses and chronic conditions all over the body. For example, if you have an infection in your mouth, that infection can eventually get into your bloodstream. If that happens, you can suffer fatigue, pain, nausea, severe sickness, and more. None of those problems ever have to happen if you keep a clean mouth through brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist often! Keep track of your oral health to keep your teeth healthy and to keep them for many years. To get your child in to see a pediatric dentist, or to see the dentist yourself, call Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics today at (720) 887-6003!