In a workforce, we have what we call the “frontliners”. These are the people whose work are included in the first few stages of the business process. They are the first people that a prospective client/customer will interact with. Thus, making them the embodiment of a certain business or organization. Likewise, our teeth are one of the frontliners of our body. If we’re going to talk about looks: teeth are one of the first things that a stranger sees.
It represents how we care for ourselves. It doesn’t matter if we have certain in-born teeth abnormalities—like acute angled-corner— as long as they are clean. It is always pleasing to see a guy or girl with a dazzling smile: much more if they have a sparkling white set of teeth. People of all changes—may it be young or old—seem to be drawn to people with good hygiene.
Teeth are also our frontline when it comes to doing what we all love—eating. Chewing is the main purpose of our teeth. They are the “manpower” that grinds and pre-process our intake: making it easier for us to digest our food. Studies even show that chewing food longer and at a slower pace can make all the difference.
Thoroughly chewing your food will result in increased secretion of saliva which produces digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes break down food into smaller building blocks making it easier for absorption. What’s the purpose of eating healthy food if we don’t get most of its nutrients, right?
There are also consequences in not chewing food well enough. Digestive problems such as choking, aspiration, malnutrition, and dehydration can occur when we swallow our food with little chewing. It can also result in our body not having enough digestive enzymes to process our food intake: which can cause further digestive problems like bloating, diarrhea, heartburn, acid reflux, etc. Thoroughly chewing our food is one step in aiding our digestive process as well as getting all the possible nutrients out of what we eat.
With all these said, we can really say that how we take care of our teeth is connected to how we take care of our overall health. A doctor can tell what’s going on inside your body with just a swab of our saliva. Aside from aiding in digestion, saliva is also one of our body’s defenses against bacteria and viruses.
Though our saliva also serves as a protection, it can’t do all the job. With over 500 species of bacteria that live in our mouth at any given time, having dental plaque can be inevitable.
We learn how to brush our teeth since we were toddlers. As exciting as it may seem, losing our baby teeth means more responsibility — taking care of our permanent ones.
There are many ways to have a well-maintained set of teeth. Some of these are:
1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day
This doesn’t mean that regardless of what you eat, brushing your teeth twice a day can make miracles. It is always better to brush one’s teeth after every meal, if possible.
2. Brush your teeth properly
Contrary to what some may believe: soft bristles are more ideal than harder ones. Applying too much pressure on both your teeth and your gums may result in unwanted damages to your gums. Continues use of hard-bristle brushes on your teeth can wear on your tooth enamel. If you are worried about dental plaque and can’t seem to get the satisfaction out of using a soft or medium brush.
It is always better to have a trip to your dentist at least twice a year. Dental professional may use prophy paste in cleaning your teeth. Prophy paste is like an enhanced toothpaste that can easily take care of hard to remove stains.
3. Flossing can be equally as important as brushing
Not only does flossing helps you remove unwanted food stuck in between your teeth, but it also aids in revitalizing the gums and reducing plaques.
4. Consider using a mouthwash
Mouthwash helps in rinsing food particles from our mouth.
Aside from cleaning what brushes can’t reach, mouthwash also helps in maintaining oral balance. Some mouthwash even contains fluoride which can prevent cavities and strengthen our tooth enamel.
5. Drink lots of water
Drinking water after every meal helps wash off acid from our food intake. It helps wash away food remains and maintain saliva levels high. Especially after drinking sugary beverages, drinking water can help displace sugar which can lead to tooth decay.
6. Always watch how much is your sugar intake
A plaque is a bacteria that sticks to teeth. Once bacteria comes in contact with sugar, it produces acid which in turn eats away our teeth enamel. So make sure to always brush your teeth after eating sweets.
7. See a dentist at least twice a year
Keeping your teeth clean using the first few steps is essential in oral health but a trip to your dentist is equally as important. Make the most out of your trip to your dentist and ask out fluoride varnish application. This can help in putting extra protection for your teeth: it aids in preventing or slowing down tooth decay as well as strengthening tooth enamel.
Not taking good care of our oral health can also cause problems or diseases such as:
● Cardiovascular disease/heart disease
Our mouths can easily become portal or entry of infection. Infection that can travel throughout our system. Heart disease can happen if a bacteria from an inflammation of the gums travels to our arteries in the heart and cause the arteries to harden (atherosclerosis). This situation can result in the development of plaque on the arteries’ inner walls which can cause an increased risk of a heart attack.
Serious gum disease can factor in having diabetes simply because it affects our blood glucose control. The Canadian Diabetes Association says, “Because periodontal disease is an infection, bacteria produce toxins that affect the carbohydrate metabolism in individual cells. It is also thought that the host response to periodontal bacteria can increase insulin resistance and, therefore, blood glucose levels.”
● Lung infection
Having gum disease means that more bacteria are breeding in our mouth because of this, the risk of inhaling germs and other bacteria causing diseases is quite high. Some of this can lead to lung infection while persons with pre-existing lung disease can make it worse.
● Risk during pregnancy
Some studies show that pregnant women with advanced gum disease can develop gestational diabetes, deliver earlier, or have lightweight newborn. We all know that when a baby is born preterm or earlier than expected he/she is susceptible to complications such as birth abnormalities, chronic health issues, infections, asthma, and feeding problems.
● Teeth grinding
Bruxism is an involuntary habit of grinding of teeth more likely during sleep.
In most cases, bruxism is mild and not alarming though when left untreated continuous grinding of our teeth can lead to joint discomfort, earaches, and headaches.
● Smoking and its diseases
Smoking always comes with risks. One of these is developing a life-threatening disease like cancer. It can also cause teeth discoloration, reduced sense of smell and taste, bad breath and a receding gum line.
Taking care of ourselves is always a responsibility.
We owe it to our body to make every effort in maintaining if not improving our overall health.