Confidently Cool: Speak & Smile with Healthy Dental Hygiene
Smile confidently and stay healthy with proper dental hygiene practices.
A smile is a facial expression. Varying degrees of facial muscles contract and relax, making your smile perfect. It exhibits your friendliness, pleasantness, and self-esteem. Many studies have inferred that an unpleasant smile is unaesthetic and impacts your psychological state of mind. Following a five-step analysis, dentists can help you speak and smile confidently.
What comprises a smile analysis?
Here is a list of analyses dentists can perform to decipher the factors affecting smile.
An overall analysis of face — Facial analysis
Relation of the upper jaw with the lower jaw and midline with the teeth — Dental-facial analysis
The relationship between teeth and lips — Dental-labial analysis
The relationship between teeth and gums — Dental-gingival analysis
Analyzing shape, position, and teeth colors — Teeth analysis
One thing is clear from above. The characteristics of the face, gums, and teeth are jointly associated with an individual's confidence to speak and smile.
Optimum maintenance of face skin, gums and teeth is quintessential.
Also, some studies2-4 inferred that a correlation prevails among factors like low self-esteem, psychosocial stress, and negligence of oral hygiene. So, this article provides you with the 'How' and 'Why' Dental hygiene is the key to your confident smile.
Healthy dental hygiene
Maintaining healthy dental hygiene boosts your confidence, increases self-esteem, and helps in clear speech, tasting, chewing, and swallowing nutritious food.
By maintaining your dental hygiene, one thing is for sure. The odds are in your favor for retaining your teeth for a lifetime. And you win half the battle as tooth loss in the esthetic zone is no longer a concern.
Simple steps to follow healthy dental hygiene practice, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, include the following:
Brush your teeth more than once daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft bristle brush.
Clean in between the teeth (using a floss, interdental brush, or water flosser).
Avoid sugars in between meals or limit the frequency to once daily.
Eat a well-balanced diet.
Drink fluoridated water.
Visit the dentist regularly for dental checkups.
Before planning pregnancy, get a complete oral exam.
Following these practices, you can avoid the consequences of poor dental hygiene.
The most common outcomes of poor dental hygiene are tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, teeth staining, and deterioration of general health. We discuss the five outcomes below to encourage you to maintain healthy dental hygiene.
How poor dental hygiene causes tooth decay
Tooth decay is one of the most widespread chronic illnesses. The main reason is a complex interaction between tooth-adherent acid-producing bacteria and sugary carbs that ferment.
These bacteria reside in the dental plaque. By producing acids, they may demineralize the tooth’s outer enamel or dentin layer over time.
It leads to the formation of cavities. Plaque that stays over the tooth surface due to poor dental hygiene leads to tooth cavities. These cavities need restorative treatment.
Studies have found that cavities in the tooth, tooth loss, and fractures of the front tooth can influence your self-esteem and reduce the confidence in your smile.
How it causes gum disease
Two main types of gum disease are present: Gingivitis– one that affects only your gums, and Periodontitis– that results additionally in the loss of tooth-supporting bone. Common with both is the inflamed gums around the teeth.
The plaque that accumulates on the tooth surface near the gum line forces the gums away from the tooth, causing pocket formation.
The pockets hasten plaque accumulation and result in irreversible bone destruction.5
Good dental hygiene and preventive cleaning by dental hygienists can limit plaque accumulation. But, poor hygiene can lead to continuous bone loss, followed by increased gaps in the teeth and tooth loss.
How it causes bad breaths
Along with pocket formation and bone loss, bleeding gums and persistent bad breath may occur due to gum disease.
The gum disease-causing bacteria break down food proteins, giving rise to volatile sulfur compounds, sensed as a foul odor.
These bacteria act upon the food stuck in the pockets or cavities, leading to bad breath. Good dental hygiene and regular dental visits can help resolve bad breath.
How it causes teeth staining
Various reasons can cause teeth staining. The color of stains ranges from yellow, brown to black.
Brown stains are thin, pigmented pellicles commonly found on the cheek side of the upper back teeth and tongue side of the lower front teeth.
Tannins from tea, coffee, and other beverages are likely to be the source of these stains. Its true nature is not certainly known.
However, it may result from inefficient dentifrices and faulty tooth brushing techniques. It also occurs in people who fail to brush their teeth properly.
How it affects your general health
The mouth is considered the window to your general health.6 Poor dental hygiene changes the type of bacterial colonies in the mouth. They shift from a simpler to a complex version and increase gum disease-causing bacteria.
This alteration changes the course of multiple diseases interrelated with gum disease. It affects general health conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, bacterial pneumonia, and even preterm births with low birth weight.
Severe gum disease causes an increase in the severity of diabetes7 and complicates blood sugar control. But, gum disease treatment with plaque removal and antibiotics increases blood sugar control. Similar improvements are visible even with other general health conditions, suggestive of an emphasis on healthy dental hygiene.
After knowing about the ill effects of poor dental hygiene and the benefits of healthy dental hygiene, the choice for a confident and cool smile is crisp and clear.
Suggestions from a patient-centered dental clinic and a comprehensive care plan customized to your oral hygiene routine will have a lasting positive impact on your health.
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Deinzer R, Hilpert D, Bach K, et al. Effects of academic stress on oral hygiene–a potential link between stress and plaque associated disease? J Clin Periodontol 2001;28: 459–64.
Locker D. Self-esteem and socioeconomic disparities in self-perceived oral health. J Public Health Dent 2009;69: 1–8.
Kolawole KA, Ayeni OO, Osiatuma VI. Psychosocial impact of dental aesthetics among university undergraduates. Int Orthod 2012;10:96–109
Vargas, C. M., & Arevalo, O. (2009). How Dental Care Can Preserve and Improve Oral Health. Dental Clinics of North America, 53(3), 399–420. doi:10.1016/j.cden.2009.03.011
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