6 Benefits of Brushing and Flossing Regularly

We all know that good dental hygiene keeps your breath fresh and your teeth and gums healthy. But you may not be aware that brushing and flossing regularly has a profound impact on your overall health and well being. Here are six less obvious benefits of brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing each day.

1. Have Better Self-Esteem, Confidence, and Quality of Life
According to WebMD, having a healthy smile helps you feel better about yourself, while having bad breath or discolored or missing teeth can dramatically impact your sense of self worth. Remember that your smile is an important part of making a good impression on everyone around you!

2. Save Money on Costly Dental Treatments
Taking care of your teeth helps prevent cavities, gum disease, and other issues that need to be fixed by a dentist. The worse these problems get, the more difficult and expensive they tend to be to fix. Even if you have dental insurance, procedures can often run into hundreds of dollars, so by taking good care of your teeth and gums you are also protecting your household budget.

3. Prevent Disease
A host of disease are related to poor oral health, even those that aren’t directly connected to that area of the body. People with bad dental hygiene have a 56 percent higher rate of HPV infection, which is a risk factor in most types of oral cancers. In addition, the chronic inflammation caused by gum disease is linked to cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, blockages of blood vessels, and stroke, according to the Mayo Clinic.

4. Protect Your Memory
In one study reported by the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, adults with gingivitis performed poorly on tests of memory and cognitive skill compared to people whose gums were healthy. Not only that, poor oral health is linked to a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease, particularly among those who have lost a tooth before age 35.

5. Have a Healthy Pregnancy
Women who are pregnant are more likely to experience dental problems, especially gingivitis. Experts also think there is a link between gum disease and infants who are born early and have a low birth weight. Take good care of your teeth while you are pregnant, including regular dental visits to nip any problems in the bud.

6. Improve Quality of Life
It can be hard to enjoy the things you love to do, concentrate at work, and feel happy and healthy when your teeth hurt. You can avoid painful toothaches and other uncomfortable issues by keeping up with basic dental hygiene. And if you do develop an issue, seeing your dentist as soon as possible can help stop small issues before they becoming big problems.