At Community Dental Group, we often have patients who range in age, from younger residents of Thousand Oaks, CA, who are just learning about oral health, but also adult patients who come in for their routine check-ups. Learning good oral health at a younger age can greatly reduce risks to the teeth and gums that can occur over time, but it is also highly important that all of our clients are aware of how brushing impacts their health.
Teeth, As The Obvious Focus
For patients of any age, the realization is that regular brushing and flossing removes debris from the teeth and the mouth in order to promote a clean and healthy oral environment. Although this debris can include plaque and tartar buildup, brushing is also important for removing food particles that can lead to the bacteria which generate issues of tooth decay and gum diseases.
Whenever a person eats, digestion of the food is already beginning in the mouth. As food is initially consumed, mastication triggers the salivary glands to produce more secretions. This is partially to provide further moisture to facilitate chewing, but this is also because saliva has enzymes which begin to break down certain nutrients in the food, so that the body can make better use of these components.
Ultimately, brushing after every meal is highly indicated. This is because any food residues and especially habits such as drinking sugary beverages throughout the day, will actually cause the salivary glands to keep releasing enzymes, even when a person is not actively having a meal. As a result, the bacteria that are present for this type of organic digestion will also continue to proliferate. When this happens, patients can experience:
- Surface and deeper cavities
- Gum disease, including bleeding and recession of the gum line
- Chronic bad breath
- Consistent indigestion
Neutralizing The Impact Of Enzymes
Of course, salivary enzymes are incredibly important to proper digestive health and the good absorption of nutrients. However, when these enzymes are active all the time, they also begin to become more detrimental. Brushing after meals or the consumption of high carb or high sugar products should be included in everyone’s routine. While morning and before bed brushing will also play a major role in oral health, it is necessary not to overlook oral health needs over the rest of the day.
Both children and adults can facilitate this process by making it more feasible to at least engage in a short brushing routine during the work or school days.
- Always carry a travel toothbrush and paste
- Dental picks and disposable flossers can also allow for fast care that is integrated into busy days
- Travel size mouthwash can at least neutralize some of the bacteria and enzymes quickly
- When planning lunch times, allow for an extra five minutes that is allotted to oral care
Although it can still be a challenge to attend to the full extent of oral health needs throughout a busy day, these pointers can make it easier for patients of any age to take greater responsibility in the quality of their oral health.