Children in the 1980s were reminded every Saturday while watching morning cartoons to make sure they brush their teeth everyday or they’ll become a “yuck mouth.”
Oral hygiene is not only important for fresh breath and white teeth, but also improves your overall health. Colgate.com cited studies that indicate nearly 80 percent of people don’t floss at all. The proverbial brush-floss-rinse triad is a daily necessity due to all the bacteria and other smelly organisms that can quickly spawn and spread from your mouth to other parts of your body. Bad habits can lead to bad overall health, thus its essential to curb these patterns as soon as possible.
Missing teeth, unhealthy gums and bad breath are all signs that indicate you are more susceptible to contracting HPV, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. HPV is a virus that leads to cancer of the mouth, cervix and/or throat. Some researchers indicated that the study is flawed due to reliance on people’s self-reported oral hygiene habits, and amounts to nothing more than a modest correlation. But the one constant among scientists regarding this study is that good oral health lowers the risk not only of contracting HPV, but several other derivative diseases.
Grinding, Crunching and Gripping
Bad habits when it comes to oral health do not stop at the aforementioned triad. Grinding your teeth, be it from nervousness or reflex, will ultimately grind your teeth down and (literally) expose all kinds of irreversible problems. Those who have this habit should wear a mouth guard similar to the ones football players wear to prevent this issue.
Crunching on ice is another bad habit that can seriously damage teeth. The freezing temperatures, along with the brittleness, can actually crack a tooth. Hard candy, popcorn kernels and other really hard foods should be avoided altogether to save your teeth from that kind of trauma. This is also true for those who use their teeth as pliers to open bottles or as scissors to open a bag of chips or candy. Your teeth are meant for two things: chewing and smiling. Its best to keep it simple and avoid all the extracurricular stuff.
The close proximity of your teeth to vital organs like your brain, eyes and ears further highlights the importance of maintaining good oral health. Many patients visit Ear, Nose and Throat doctors when they have an earache, but the condition could actually be caused by tooth decay. Bad oral hygiene can also lead to memory loss. ABC News reported a study that found older women with fewer teeth were more likely to suffer from dementia. Another study conducted at the University of Alexandria in Egypt found a positive correlation between gum disease and coronary artery disease.
A healthy mouth means a healthy body and outlook on life. Smiling has also been found to help you live longer. A little effort and consistency can make all the difference between a happy, healthy life versus being a yuck mouth.