There are many different aspects of maintaining good health, but, for the most part, it is all basic stuff that you should be doing anyway, such as eating well and exercising, fairly regularly. One other simple lifestyle habit that makes you a lot healthier, overall, is maintaining good oral hygiene. You might be surprised how much bacteria you can prevent from reaching your body, if you brush and floss thoroughly and as frequently as is recommended. The standard is at least twice a day, for brushing, and at least once a day for flossing. Another way in which you should go about maintaining your oral hygiene and health is by attending regular dentist appointments. That should be done, twice per year, unless you develop an oral health problem that requires more immediate attention. It is not advisable to wait longer than six months between appointments with your primary dental care dentist. More than six months would be enough time for any oral health problems that you may be unaware of to become more serious.
The two big oral health risks, for which dentists inspect your teeth and gums are cavities and periodontal disease. Cavities and periodontal disease are both exceedingly common, and they are both typically caused by some degree of improper oral hygiene. Cavities and periodontal disease require very different approaches, though, and they have different effects. A cavity occurs when the plaque, which is basically bacteria, builds up too much, in a certain spot or crevice in a tooth. Eventually, this bacteria secretes enough acids that they actually dissolve a small portion of the tooth. The longer the cavity goes untreated, the more of the tooth gets dissolved away. If cavities are left untreated for a long time, they can cause the tooth to rot so badly that it must be removed, altogether. Fortunately, though, cavities can be treated with one simple procedure, which your family dentist can perform. As long as the cavity has not progressed too far, no significant oral surgery is necessary. Periodontal disease can be quite a bit more serious, since it can very quickly spread to affect all of your gum tissue. So, while a cavity, at its worse, will destroy one tooth, periodontal disease can actually cause you to lose all of your teeth. This is because, in its worst stages, periodontal disease erodes the roots of your teeth.
Though it is called cosmetic dentistry, there are times when cosmetic dental procedures can actually be beneficially for medical and hygiene reasons, as well. This is because having teeth that are not aligned, as they should be, typically means that there are extra spaces and crevices, in your teeth. This is significant because plaque builds up most severely and quickly, in those locations. That is why a lot of dentists will recommend that you get braces or Invisalign, even if your jaw is not out of place. In the case of jaw misalignment, corrective procedures are usually necessary, to avoid surgery, down the line.