Dental Hygiene: When it Comes to Your Mouth, Actions Speak Louder Than Words!

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Did you ever consider that what you put in your mouth sometimes has a more impressive result than the words that come out of it? Good dental hygiene for Black adults and children includes regular trips to the dentist and regular use of a host of products like a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwash. Dental hygiene is not only the main ingredient in a clean mouth, fresh breath and a dazzling smile, it is also the first line of defense in preventing many diseases.

Taking action to have a healthy mouth and teeth takes a little effort. Although as children we were told to brush three times a day, as adults we often opt for more convenient substitutes like breath mints. But regular brushing and the use of dental floss should not be an optional measure in our daily schedule. The goals of breath mints and regular brushing and flossing are different. One promises fresh breath; the other offers healthy teeth and gums.

Most tooth loss in African-Americans results from periodontal disease or gingivitis. This painful condition destabilizes teeth by loosening their foundation in the gums. The villain is plaque, a sticky, thin film of bacteria that accumulates on the surface of the teeth continuously. Without regular brushing plaque deposits build up and sometimes invade the gum line. Gum tissue becomes weak, swollen, tender and discolored, providing a perfect host domain for bacterial growth and infection. Diseased gums can no longer support the teeth that become weak themselves and either fall out or must be surgically removed. The most common evidence of periodontal disease is gums that bleed when brushed. To prevent this condition, use a medium bristle toothbrush and brush your gums every time you brush your teeth.

Pay attention to cold sores that form around or inside the mouth. Cold sores are a type of virus that can flare up because of the presence of other infections in the body or stress. Some people get them frequently and they're usually harmless. But when persistent sores inside the mouth or on the tongue don't heal quickly, it's time to see your doctor. Sores of this kind may signal a serious disease like cancer.

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