Why good oral hygiene is even more important than you think

White text over a blue background reads "Be proud of your mouth. Get involved on 20 March. World Oral Health Day. #MouthProud #WOHD23 worldoralhealthday.org". Polaroid pictures of cartoon mouths pulling faces surround the text.

It’s well known that maintaining a good dental hygiene routine is essential for a healthy smile – but it may surprise you just how significant the consequences can be if you don’t look after your pearly whites. 

Poor dental hygiene has been linked to poorer health outcomes across the board, and even disease in other areas and organs in the body. 

There have even been links drawn between gum disease and heart disease, where the spread of bacteria or germs from our mouths have travelled to the heart through the bloodstream and attached themselves to valves and tissues inside it. 

The inflammatory response in the heart triggered by these bacteria can lead to damage to healthy tissue and blood vessels over a long period of time, which can increase the risk of heart-related problems like heart attacks and stroke. 

Research has even found that cardiac patients who have good oral hygiene may even have improved recovery after cardiovascular surgery, reduced risk of post-operative infection and less need for antibiotics post-surgery than those who don’t!

Two Dental Health Educators sit on chairs in a classroom full of children. One is using a giant model of teeth to show how you should be brushing.

The Monash Health Dental Services team are always excited to help educate our community about the best way to look after their smiles.

As we celebrate World Oral Health Day this March 20, it’s a great time to check in and make sure you’re taking proper care of your teeth to help maintain your overall health and quality of life. 

Untreated gum disease, caused by a build-up of bacteria and plaque on the teeth, can cause pain, discomfort and eventually lead to tooth loss which can affect the way we speak, eat, drink and socialise with others. 

This year’s theme is ‘Be Proud of Your Mouth for a Lifetime of Smiles’ – meaning it’s more important to strive for a healthy mouth than a perfect one at every stage of life. 

The Monash Health Dental Services team takes pride in empowering patients, families, and our local community to take charge of their oral health by providing them with the knowledge and tools to maintain a healthy smile. 

To keep your pearly whites in tip top shape, make sure you: 

  • Brush your teeth two times a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste 
  • If you wear dentures, clean them daily 
  • Clean between your teeth using floss or an interdental toothbrush 
  • Visit your dentist for regular dental check-ups 

These small changes in your day can ensure you maintain your healthy smile (and heart!) for a lifetime of happy memories.