Why you should keep your teeth clean

There are plenty of important reasons why you should always take great care in looking not only after your teeth, but your mouth in general.

To start with, it marks the beginning of the digestive process, which is vital in keeping you nutritionally sustained – and alive! While many people may associate digestion with the stomach, your food is being broken down from the moment it enters your mouth. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense to do all you can to ensure you are able to process food properly, without it causing you pain or difficulty.

Many oral health problems originate following the formation of plaque, which is a film of bacteria that grows on teeth. As a result, regularly brushing your teeth to remove it is a crucial function and one that should never be underestimated.

A clean and healthy mouth is one that is clear of debris, doesn’t smell and has pink gums that do not feel sensitive or bleed when they are brushed or flossed. If you recognise all of these when you look in the mirror, then well done – you’re on the right track.


What will happen if I don’t look after my teeth?

To give you an idea of the impact brushing your teeth can have on looking after your mouth, the National Smile Month campaign estimates those who only do it once a day, instead of twice, are three times more likely to develop tooth decay.

We’ve already mentioned plaque. If that bacteria mixes with starch and sugar found in your food, it’s natural reaction is to release acid. Because it is sitting on the top of your teeth, this acid will then go to work breaking down and corroding the enamel that protects them, potentially leading to holes and cavities in your teeth.

In addition to this, the problem can also affect your gums, irritating them to the point at which they become sensitive to touch and begin to bleed, which leads to bad breath – one of the early signs that something can be wrong.

Both tooth decay and gingivitis – an early stage of gum disease – can eventually lead to serious complications if they are allowed to develop and can ultimately cause tooth loss and painful dental abscesses.

Another problem to come around as a cause of practising poor oral healthcare is the formation of calculus or tartar. This yellow-brown mineral deposit gives your teeth an unattractive, stained look and is the result of the frequent build-up of plaque, due to the absence of flossing and brushing. When this forms, the teeth will begin to feel rough and crusty in texture, which then encourages further plaque growth – almost creating a snowball effect as far as the state of your mouth’s health is concerned.


What else can I do to take good care of my mouth?

As well as maintaining an effective cleaning routine, you can also keep up high standards by watching what you eat.

For example, sticky foods, those with a high concentration of sugar and acidic drinks can all negatively affect your teeth by damaging the enamel or inadvertently exposing them to harmful bacteria and acid.

However, fresh fruit and vegetables are good for your mouth, as they help to stimulate saliva flow, which counteracts the effects of acid and also cleans your teeth of loose particles that would otherwise add to the accumulation of plaque.

Comment on "Why you should keep your teeth clean"

  1. Mr Gum

    There is a right way to brush and floss your teeth. Every day:

        Gently brush your teeth on all sides with a soft-bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste.
        Use small circular motions and short back-and-forth strokes.
        Take the time to brush carefully and gently along the gum line.
        Lightly brush your tongue to help keep your mouth clean.

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