Brush Up on Better Oral Care

A healthy mouth is important for more than a just smile that sparkles. Good dental habits can protect your overall well-being, too. 

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body

Brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly can help prevent gingivitis, or gum disease. With gingivitis, your gums become red and swollen, and they bleed. When it’s left untreated, gingivitis can get much worse. It can cause your teeth to fall out and can lead to even more serious health issues.

The inflammation that comes with gum disease may increase your risk of developing heart disease. Gum disease may also put you at risk for stroke.

Healthy Gums, Healthy Baby

If you’re pregnant, it’s especially important to practice good oral hygiene. Having gum disease during pregnancy may increase your risk of giving birth too early or having a baby that’s too small.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy make you more likely to develop gingivitis. If you notice that your gums are more sensitive or that they bleed more easily than before, talk with your dentist. He or she can help you manage gingivitis to reduce the effects it could have on you and your baby.

Protect Your Pearly Whites

The path toward a healthier mouth requires just a few simple steps. Practice these tips daily and you’ll be smiling brighter in no time:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Remember to brush the insides of your teeth and your tongue, too. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

  • Floss once a day. Flossing helps prevent gum disease and cavities. Holding the floss between two fingers, curve it in a C-shape around each side of the tooth. Rub the floss gently up and down.

  • Visit your dentist at least once a year. Some people may need to visit the dentist more often. Talk with your dentist about how often you should go.

Taking care of your teeth is an important part of taking care of your overall health. With a little bit of effort, you can help keep your mouth—and your body—healthy.

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