Good Health Includes Oral Health
Taking care of your teeth is about more than achieving a nice smile. Oral health
and your overall health go hand in hand which is why making sure you and your family
have good dental insurance is so important.
Eighty-seven percent of primary caregivers agree that good dental care and good
medical care are equally important, according to a recent survey of American children’s
oral health conducted on behalf of Delta Dental Plans association. Staying on top of preventive
dental care can help you avoid more serious oral health issues such as advanced
gum disease, which has been linked to serious health problems such as cardiovascular
disease, stroke and bacterial pneumonia.
Have you evaluated your own oral health habits lately? Do you follow brushing and
The American Dental Association
recommends the following dental care practices:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Replace your
toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn
toothbrush won't do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
- Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner. Decay–causing bacteria
still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This helps remove
plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
- Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
If you don’t do these things, make efforts to improve them by setting small goals
for yourself. Tackle one habit at a time, and before long you will have incorporated
them all into your daily routine. If you haven’t been to the dentist in awhile,
make an appointment.
For more information about why taking care of your teeth is important—and how you
can do it—see the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s oral health fact sheets for
adults and children.
And, finally, if you don’t have dental insurance,
start shopping around to purchase a plan. Multiple studies show that those
with dental insurance are more likely to visit the dentist regularly and get the
preventative dental care they need for good health. Remember: Your oral health is
a part of overall health!