The Importance of Teeth

Sep 28, 2022

By Barret Procyshyn, Pharmacist at Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy

The combination of politics and health is interesting, sometimes controversial, and always costly. Change is difficult and sometimes in healthcare more is not always better. I have taken interest in the NDP forced-Liberal promise to start some type of national dental care plan. It may be a precursor to serious discussions about a national Pharmacare Strategy and my wife works as a dentist - It's a good think she thoroughly enjoys talking about politics and work. I am being 100% sarcastic of course but my wife always stresses the importance of caring for your oral health. Politics aside many Canadian families do not have access to appropriate dental care, but is a national dental strategy something we should care about?

There is no doubt our teeth have an extremely important role in our lives. They help us chew and digest food, they help us to talk and speak clearly and they also give our face its shape. A beautiful or handsome smile also has other benefits. It can give us greater confidence, as well as influence our social lives, careers, and relationships. The number of healthy teeth we have is directly correlated to our life expectancy. If you want to live past 70 research shows it is almost a must to have at least 20 healthy teeth. Associated medical and dental issues include bone loss, cardiovascular disease, strokes, cancers, and many other problems. This is fascinating, and only highlights the importance of caring for your teeth.

Many oral health diseases and tooth problems are entirely preventable and almost always caused by poor oral hygiene. By creating good oral hygiene habits from a young age, you can prevent deterioration of your health. Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpastes is a must. Flossing after brushing might be as important. Since lucking out having a wife making sure I floss every night I have noticed my mouth feels cleaner and my gums bleed much less. This means they are healthier.

Reducing how often we have sugary foods and drinks is also important. Acidic drinks, which are often associated with sugary drinks might be as harmful. If you are drinking soda pop or juice, use a straw, and limit it. After consuming these beverages, you need brush your teeth. Ensure your children are not having sugary drinks once they have brushed and are ready for bed.

As great as brushing and flossing is, research shows regular dental cleanings are a must. A dental cleaning by a hygienist or certified assistant cleans your teeth much better than a toothbrush can. Think of it like cleaning your car in the spring. Your garden hose doesn't compare to a pressure washer.

Your dental hygienist will remove most of the stains that dull and discolor your teeth. Topical fluoride can strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay. People with frequent cavities, gum disease, dry mouth, crowns, or bridges may benefit from fluoride treatments. Regular and adhering to a cleaning schedule they recommend will reduce our chances of developing general health problems and other diseases - as well as improve your smile. Having your teeth cleaned will prevent gum disease, which leads to early tooth loss. Because twice yearly cleanings have been shown to decrease gum disease, they will also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Most private third-party plans cover at least two cleanings per year. If you have this benefit for you and your family use it. At minimum, go at least once per year.

A dentist knows what to look for when it comes to problems with your bite, jaw and will even inspect for signs of oral cancer. X-rays can identify issues early and save pains and money down the road. Maybe most importantly they can see things we cannot. If invest in your vehicle and take it for regular maintenance and checkups, you need to be doing the same with your oral health.

According to news reports, the federal government will issue direct to families who do not qualify for private dental care. The families can use the money for dental expenses and will have to save receipts in case of an audit. I think perhaps a little more effort could have gone into this, perhaps by consulting professionals in the field. However, if you qualify for the money take advantage of it and invest into your child's oral health. If you are a family with dental care coverage, use it and have your teeth cleaned and checked on regularly. Treat your oral hygiene and health well, and the investment will pay back dividends.


Read more Health Articles

Unite Interactive