Oral care prevents other health issues

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 22, 2018

Tuesday was World Oral Health Day, making the month of March an ideal time of the year to discuss the importance of maintaining proper dental hygiene.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental hygiene and oral health are essential parts of people’s lives.

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Juanette Corkern, registered dental hygienist at Penley Family Dentistry, said good oral hygiene is linked to good overall health.

“There’s an oral-systemic connection,” Corkern said.

A person’s oral health has a significant impact on their overall health. If it’s overlooked, poor oral hygiene can cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream and potentially lead to cardiovascular diseases, she said.

Corkern recommends patients brush their teeth 2-3 times a day and floss them at least once a day to keep bacterial levels low. She said it is important for everyone to have their teeth checked by a dentist twice a year.

The most overlooked oral care habit Corkern has noticed is flossing.

“It is important to floss because a toothbrush cannot reach between the teeth and floss is our go to tool to remove plaque from between the teeth,” Corkern said.

She said it’s very important for parents to monitor their children’s diet and eliminate foods that are high in sugar.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that tooth decay is a common problem among all age groups.

Corkern said the best way to prevent cavities is to use a fluoride toothpaste or a fluoride rinse.

Several gum diseases, including gingivitis, can contaminate gum tissues, leading to weak teeth and bleeding gums. Corkern said gum diseases can be prevented through regular teeth maintenance. Oral rises can also help prevent gingivitis and other gum diseases, Corkern said.

She said it’s highly recommended for people to brush just before bed to remove bacteria that would otherwise be left to cause harm to teeth and gums.

“It helps to remove the debris and plaque that has formed all day,” she said.

Corkern said regular oral care can prevent cavities, gum diseases and save them from the discomfort associated with dental work.