A Hundred Million Bacteria – Brush Your Teeth? You Bet!

Listen, I don’t want to panic anyone, but did you know that there are more than one hundred million bacteria in every millilitre of saliva in your mouth?

From over 600 species?

Don’t worry, it all tastes good when you add chocolate anyway.

But I’m just trying to get your attention so we can talk about the excitement of regular dental care.

I know hours spent in the dental chair are not your favorite, but it’s critical. Most dentists advise cleanings and checkups every six months. Checkups for kids are suggested before school starts, and for you if you’re about to travel overseas.

Along with that, brush twice daily with soft bristles, and use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.

The whole idea is to clean away the plaque, and material that can irritate gums and cause decay or gum disease.

Mouth rinses with fluoride are also useful.

And did I mention flossing?

It is said that the eyes are windows to the soul. But doctors can learn a great deal about the body by looking into the mouth also, and this underscores the importance of dental health.

Researchers know that gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is linked with a variety of systemic diseases.

We also know that diabetes, HIV infections, and blood cell problems lower the body’s resistance, and that can make gum disease much worse.

Some evidence links oral bacteria with stroke, arterial blockages, and heart disease. More research is needed to nail all of this down, but meanwhile it makes sense to think of oral health as a key part of our overall health. And all the more reason to visit your dentist regularly.

And lastly, you might wonder if it’s still safe to kiss your spouse on the lips. I highly recommend it.

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