Proper dental care is good for the whole body.

Very few people enjoy going to the dentist, but an annual cleaning might be one of the most important medical visits you make all year. Plaque builds up on teeth every single day, destroying the enamel on your teeth. Without proper daily care and an annual cleaning, plaque buildup can cause cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and halitosis (bad breath). It can also lead to thyroid problems, leukemia, certain cancers, diabetes, osteoporosis, and anemia, if left untreated. To keep your smile healthy and bright:

  • Brush twice daily. Once before bed and when you wake up. This breaks up the sticky plaque that builds up on teeth throughout the day and night. 
  • Floss daily. Flossing makes a huge difference in how much food stays between teeth — feeding bacteria that will harm your teeth.
  • Get an annual cleaning and checkup. Brushing and flossing are great daily habits, but they only remove about 2/3 of the plaque and bacteria in your mouth. With a professional cleaning, your mouth will be fully cleaned, and your oral health will be evaluated. The dentist will analyze your gums and teeth for signs of any medical concerns that could lead to serious infections or diseases harmful to the whole body.
  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks. Bacteria thrive on sugar and break it down quickly, producing acids that eat away tooth enamel, and lead to cavities and gingivitis (gum disease).

Before you make an appointment, be sure to check your Summary Plan Description and Delta Dental of Washington for what’s covered under your plan.

Source: Oral Health Foundation www.dentalhealth.org