Fighting tooth decay is a real struggle, but worth it! Cleaning your teeth and mouth has various benefits that you may not have realized yet. Just like showering regularly makes you smell and feel good and can prevent you from certain diseases and illnesses, observing oral hygiene will prevent tooth decay and diseases linked to certain dental problems such as stroke, heart disease, bronchitis, and heart disease.

Your mouth has 700 various strains of bacteria, some of which will get into the bloodstream and infect various parts of your body if you practice poor dental hygiene. However, not all types of bacteria are bad; some are important to help in the digestion of food. Regular brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist is crucial in sustaining a good smile and oral sanitation.

Consider the following 6 reasons to keep your teeth clean:

1. Prevent Gingivitis (Gum Disease)

Apart from eroding your teeth, bacteria can also target the gums. Gingivitis is the initial phase of gum disease which starts as an inflammation of the gums. Plaque (accumulation of bacteria and food that appears in people’s mouth) build-up is what causes the swelling of the gums. The gums will turn red, get swollen and bleed easily while brushing or flossing.

Your gums may become tender, have a noticeable dark color and you may have foul breath. Gingivitis then becomes an advanced gum disease if you still don’t clean your teeth properly through practicing excellent oral hygiene practice. The symptoms might worsen and whereby teeth may start to fall out, one after another. Gingivitis progresses due to bad oral hygiene habits, meaning that the disease is actually 100% preventable.

You may be asking yourself, how long does it take for gingivitis to clear up? Well, it generally clears within 10-14 days, but if the condition is serious, it takes longer to treat. You can also treat it at home by using an anti-bacterial mouthwash, anti-bacterial toothpaste, flossing daily and by brushing more effectively. Gingivitis can go away without being treated, but may also come back if you don’t clean your teeth right and regularly.

If plaque grows into tartar, you have no choice other than to visit a dentist and have your teeth cleaned professionally. Deep cleaning may cost you between 140-300 dollars, depending on your dentist and location. To prevent your gums from hurting, do the following:

– Use warm salt water to rinse the mouth

– Use a toothbrush with super soft bristles

– Purchase OTC painkillers such as Tylenol, as instructed.

Research shows that 64.7 million USA citizens have gum disease. You don’t have to be part of this statistic. Brush and floss your teeth numerous times daily to prevent the harmful bacteria from attacking. Receding gums do not grow back due to the small spaces created after pulling a tooth out, and this is where plaque collects. If you notice the symptoms of gingivitis, visit your dentist before it’s too late.

2. Minimize or Prevent Diabetes

Diabetes is not something to smile about. It causes severe damage to your teeth and body. If you have the disease already, you should be aware of the complications. Some of them include:

– Cavities

– Bad breath

– Dry mouth

– Thrush

– A burning feeling in the mouth

– Gum disease.

People who have diabetes are prone to lose some of their teeth, especially with old age, which in turn lowers the value of life.

Gum disease can completely tear down your gums, the tissues supporting your teeth and your bones. This is the most widespread dental disease that affects people with diabetes and affects almost 22% of those who’ve been diagnosed. With age, poor control of blood sugar raises the risk of gum issues. Diabetes patients have an increased risk of gum issues due to bad blood sugar management. Any gum disease makes it difficult to manage blood glucose.

Blood sugar can rise due to severe gum disease, making it pretty difficult to control diabetes since you’re more vulnerable to infections and not very able to eliminate the bacteria attacking your gums. Note that the connection between diabetes and gum disease is a two-way kind of relationship; persons with diabetes are more vulnerable to severe gum disease and severe gum disease can affect the control of blood glucose, hence, advancement of diabetes.

To prevent the dental issues linked to diabetes, you need to manage your levels of blood sugar, take great care of your gums and teeth and have dental checkups every six months. In order to control a fungal infection, thrush and maintain good diabetic management, quit smoking. If the blood sugar glucose is good, it can prevent and relieve dry mouth, which is brought about by diabetes.

Persons living with diabetes have some special needs which can be met with the dentist. The dentist and hygienist need to be informed that you have diabetes and if there are changes of any kind in your condition including any kind of medication you are taking. It’s important to suspend all non-emergency dental procedures the moment you realize that your blood sugar level isn’t in the best control.

3. Deliver a Healthy Baby

Pregnancy can cause some dental issues in a few women, which includes gum disease or even worse, a high risk of tooth decay. Your increased hormones during pregnancy might affect the way your body responds to the plaque. There is an old wives’ story which cautions expectant mothers to get ready to lose a tooth or more for every pregnancy. This tale is actually false.

If the mother takes sufficient calcium, her bones will give calcium to the baby, not her teeth. The loss of calcium is rapidly recovered after weaning the baby. Gum disease while pregnant could lead to birth defects. It could make you deliver an underweight baby or even deliver a premature baby. Premature infants risk certain health issues such as cerebral palsy plus other eyesight and hearing problems.

Gum disease triggers 18 out of 100 premature births. Common causes of dental-health issues include:

– Cravings for sugary things

 – Vomiting

– Retching when brushing your teeth

– Gum problems.

The hormones which are linked to pregnancy make some pregnant mothers vulnerable to gum issues such as gingivitis, Untreated or undiagnosed gum disease, and pyogenic granuloma or pregnancy epulis.

A mother’s dental health is linked to her unborn baby’s health which can be traced to some of the bacteria in the mouth. Excessive bacteria in the mother’s mouth can get into her bloodstream via her gums, then get to the uterus and prompt the production of prostaglandins which induce premature labor. After birth, the mother can pass the bacteria to the newborn; hence, a mother with so much acid-loving bacteria in her mouth might pass more of them to the baby.

Pregnant ladies who keep their teeth healthy greatly minimize the risk of getting serious complications during pregnancy and greatly reduce the chances of future dental issues and infections in their babies. Use fluoride toothpaste twice daily and also floss daily. Proper nutrition will keep your oral cavity healthy, sensible and strong. Balanced diets with sufficient calcium and less acidity & sugar are the best for your baby and your oral health.

4. Saves You Money

Prevention has always been better than cure. Daily care of your gums and teeth will prevent future dental problems. You need to schedule occasional cleanings to have your teeth cleaned professionally. Ensure you visit your dentist every 6 months or once a year to identify and prevent dental issues whilst there is still time before they become expensive to treat. Always keep in mind that the cost required to fill a cavity is less than that of a root canal, an extraction or a crown.

If you find out that you cannot afford to pay for all the dental work required, ask the dentist whether you can postpone the procedures which are not very urgent, and ask him which procedures need to be done first, second, and so on. If he understands that you’re having financial constraints, he’ll suggest temporary fixes which will hold you over as you wait for a permanent procedure to be done.

If you are employed and the employer does not cover dental insurance, purchase a dental discount plan whereby you pay a one-time bill per year then you choose a dentist in the network. All your dental procedures will be discounted. You can also go to any trusted dental school to have your entire dental work and cleaning done there. The procedures will be performed by the students who will be supervised by their instructors and you will end up paying a small fraction of the amount you would pay elsewhere.

Consider a dental savings plan, a self-insurance plan or dental insurance, then choose the best option for you. This may sound strange, but the ideal way to save money is by visiting a professional. Regular dental care will save you money and even your life. Therefore, go for regular cleanings and checkups. Note that when you brush near the gums, a rough side to side, brushing could irritate the gums and cause an infection and or receding gums. It is crucial to also clean your gum-line correctly. ‘

5. To Feel Fresh

You cannot be fresh if your mouth is filled with deadly, heart-stopping bacteria. If you want fresh breath and a healthy mouth, stop whatever you’re doing and scrub your pearly whites. Brushing your teeth without flossing has been just like jumping from an airplane without a parachute. Your toothbrush can only clean the exposed surface of the teeth but not plaque built between the teeth. Water flossing is very helpful in minimizing gingivitis.

Water flossers clean around implants and bracelets without any discomfort or pain. You can opt to use the water flossers with warm water if you’ve got sensitive teeth. These useful bathroom gadgets are what you have been missing and this is the time to get them. The Water flossers remove plaque, stores water, it’s easy to use, and has many other benefits.

Water flossing will make you have fresh breath and improve the look of your smile. Some people hide their smiles since their teeth aren’t as healthy as they should be. This is sad. Regular flossing is the initial step towards achieving a healthy and beautiful smile. So, how does water flossing work? It uses very strong steam to flush bacteria or plaque between the teeth or below the gum-line. They have several modes plus speed settings for you to adjust by just pressing a button. Some use pulsating water-pressure for better flossing.

Water flossing is customized according to your gum and teeth sensitivity so that you can have a day to day flossing routine. It does not cause problems like bleeding gums or sore gums. Your teeth may feel pain when you’ve got braces. Water flossing is very gentle on the gums than string flossing and cleans perfectly. Therefore, nothing should prevent you from that having that fresh breath. It’s up to you to make it happen.

6. Minimize the Risk of Stroke, Heart Attack, and Arthritis

Bleeding gums and a mouth filled with bacteria and plaque will get the bacteria directly into the bloodstream and get to your heart. These dangerous bacteria can cause a heart attack or cause stroke. These bacteria also spread in your bloodstream then into your brain, in a similar mechanism to what occurs in the heart. It will raise the chances of stroke but can further lead to dementia. If you remember to clean your teeth, it will enable you to remember everything.

Rheumatoid arthritis is 8 times more probable to affect people who have gum disease. Bacteria in the gums release proteins which provoke a reaction from the immune system that leads to severe joint problems.

Your mouth is a primary port of entry to your body. Everything in your body, including food and bacteria got inside of you at one point of entry or the other. Therefore, if your mouth gets infested with bad bacteria, it will also negatively affect your whole body. It is important to practice good dental hygiene to avoid complications in life.