While it might seem like a waste of time to brush and floss your teeth, these are some of the most important minutes of your day. Good oral health practices are essential to your entire body. Keep in mind these four ways that good oral hygiene practices support your overall health and wellness.

Reduce Your Risk of Gum Disease

Brushing your teeth at least twice every day for two minutes each time helps to lower your risk of gum disease. Many adults are affected by gum disease, which can involve swelling and bleeding of the gums, receded tissue around the tooth roots and a loosening of your teeth in your jaws. Good oral health practices could even reverse gum disease that is still in the earliest stage.

Visit the Dentist

Another important oral health practice is visiting the dentist. Most dentists, like Jay A Hollander, DDS,  recommend that you visit every six months for a professional cleaning, oral exam, and preventive care. When you visit the dentist, your mouth will be checked for oral cancer, gum disease and cavities. In many cases, treatment for problems can begin during your routine visits. This could prevent a major problem.

Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

People who have advanced gum disease are at an increased risk of other health problems, including heart disease. Medical researchers have discovered that the bacteria responsible for gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of your body, such as the lining of your heart or the heart muscle itself. By taking care of your teeth through brushing, flossing and recommended dental treatments, you could lower your risk of heart disease.

Keep Your Natural Teeth

When your teeth are healthy and you have all of them, you will have a naturally shaped face. This is because your teeth help to maintain the mass and shape of your jaws, which form the outline of your face. Having all of your teeth also makes it easier for you to eat healthy foods for optimal nutrition. Good oral hygiene practices are key to keeping all of your natural teeth.

The short amount of time that it takes each day to care for your teeth and gums is an investment in your overall health and well-being. In just a few minutes every day, you are able to take action and prevent major health conditions. It is also important to schedule your six-month dental checkups so that any dental problems can be detected early.

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