When you find yourself smiling, chances are you are not thinking about the science behind it. But smiles are strongly linked with human psychology, and are one of the first things people notice and remember most about you. Multiple studies have shown that having a bright, healthy, attractive smile can make you seem not only more approachable and trustworthy to others, but may even make you appear more successful and confident! It is clear that taking good care of your teeth and gums is important when it comes to putting your best foot forward in public, but your oral hygiene can actually go beyond that, affecting not only your smile, but your overall health as well.
Even if you have not always treated your smile with the care it deserves, there is no age limit on adopting a great oral hygiene routine! It is never too late to take steps towards healthier teeth and gums, something that can keep the rest of your body feeling good, too. Cashmere Family Dentistry want to help you get the most out of your smile, so keep reading below for more information about the connection between your dental health and your body’s health overall.
Beyond a simple smile
It is not unusual for people to think that braces are for nothing more than straightening the teeth in order to produce a perfect smile. However, properly aligned teeth and jaws offer many other benefits beyond the obvious cosmetic appeal. Orthodontic appliances like braces or clear aligners are functional in nature, offering both aesthetic and health benefits. These can last a lifetime when the teeth and gums are properly cared for. Oral issues that are left untreated can lead to health problems that may interrupt proper chewing, swallowing, nutrition, and speech. Misaligned teeth and jaws can also increase the risk for tooth decay, TMJ pain, and chronic headaches. Here at Cashmere Family Dentistry, we are proud to offer Invisalign clear aligner therapy, an innovative alternative to braces that can help correct these issues, resulting in a straighter smile and a mouth that functions the way it is meant to.
Chewing and digestion
You may not tend to think of teeth and digestion as a pair, but when we chew our food, it is actually the very first part of the digestive process. Unfortunately, this is a crucial element that many of us neglect when we scarf our food down without chewing it properly! It is important to cultivate this oral habit, however, because this is the way our bodies convert large pieces of food into smaller particles that are easier to digest, giving the intestines the chance to absorb nutrients properly. Food that has not been chewed well before swallowing will not digest as well in your stomach, and your body will need to expend extra energy in order to absorb all the nutrients.
Keep teeth clear of plaque
Plaque is a sticky film that is naturally occuring, and it contains bacteria that can build up on the teeth and eat away at the enamel. This can lead to cavities forming in between the teeth that are harder to see and treat since they often go undiscovered until there are noticeable symptoms. Letting plaque get a foothold in your mouth can wreak havoc on the health of your gums, leading to gingivitis and even full-blown gum disease if left untreated over time. This can cause inflammation, sensitive and bleeding gums, and loose or lost teeth.
One of the best things you can do to prevent this is schedule regular check-ups with a dental practice like Cashmere Family Dentistry every six months. Our dentists are trained and experienced professionals who know to look for things patients are typically unable to see, such as cavities or the beginning stages of gum disease. If they find anything that needs attention, they will be able to advise you on whatever preventive or corrective treatment may be necessary. Our team will also provide a thorough cleaning of your teeth, getting rid of any accumulated bacteria and plaque.
When it comes to cognitive function, gum health has a surprising role. Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease, and periodontitis is the more advanced form. Both are capable of producing inflammation, slight bleeding, and tenderness in the gums. Some studies have shown a link that exists between gum disease and cognitive function. Adults with gingivitis performed worse on memory and cognitive skills tests than those with healthy gums, and periodontitis was associated with cognitive impairment in older adults. Having a good dental hygiene routine and scheduling regular dental visits goes a long way towards preventing a buildup of bacteria in your mouth, keeping gums looking and feeling good, and reducing the chance of developing gingivitis.
Keep infection and inflammation to a minimum
Research has found there is a possible association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis. This autoimmune disease causes inflammation of the joints, and experts suggest that the mechanism that destroys connective tissue in RA is similar to the mechanism in gum disease that causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. In addition to maintaining a good oral hygiene routine and seeing your dentist regularly, eating a well-balanced diet can help help reduce your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease, which will keep inflammation and infection to a minimum.
It is common knowledge that avoiding things like candy and starchy items can help keep you cavity-free, but did you know that there are also foods you can eat that will actively improve the health of your gums? Crunchy vegetables and fruit trigger saliva production, helping to protect your teeth and gums by rebalancing the pH in your mouth. When you eat fibrous fruits and vegetables, like celery and apples, they will massage the gums as you chew, increasing the blood flow and improving your body’s natural gum-protecting defenses.
Boost your confidence with Cashmere Family Dentistry
You want your smile to be remembered for all the right reasons, not for having unattractive teeth or bad breath, both of which are caused by tooth decay and gum disease. When you do not have a smile you are proud of, it can have a serious effect on your self-esteem and self-image, with the level of confidence you have in yourself taking a hit. A healthy mouth that is free from gingivitis and cavities can contribute to better health, and a better quality of life. We would love to help you achieve this by giving you a smile that is not only attractive but fully functional and beautifully aligned, too!
Cashmere Family Dentistry are a fun-loving, family-centered practice that specialize in general, cosmetic, and restorative dental services, so our doctors can meet you where you are in your dental health journey. As Invisalign providers, we can straighten smiles as well as keep them clean and healthy. Our team is skilled, experienced, and dedicated to giving every patient five-star treatment through compassionate, individualized care and the best in dental technology and technique. If you are in Wenatchee or the surrounding area, get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can improve your dental health and give you the smile you have always wanted!