Remove Plaque and Reduce Pneumonia Risk
Practicing good oral hygiene is essential to preventing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. But did you know that proper oral care can also benefit your child’s overall health?
Recent research has linked dental hygiene to many respiratory conditions, particularly pneumonia, which, along with influenza, is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States.
Pneumonia is commonly triggered by a viral or bacterial infection. Viral pneumonia usually heals on its own, while the bacterial form can be treated by antibiotics. However, the disease has become more resistant to antibiotics over time, so taking steps to help your child avoid it is wise.
The connection between dental hygiene and pneumonia lies in the fight against bacteria. Oral hygiene aims to prevent and remove plaque from teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that forms on teeth through the eating and chewing processes and encourages the growth of bacteria.
If plaque is not removed from teeth, the bacteria thrive and can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and eventual tooth loss. Decay-causing bacteria can also contribute to other illnesses, particularly respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia.
To prevent and fight plaque build-up,
- have your child brush his or her teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and use an antibacterial mouth rinse each day
- bring your child to our office for regular checkups and cleanings
- encourage your child to eat a healthy diet
- limit your child’s intake of sugary foods and drinks, because these encourage the growth of plaque and bacteria
These basic preventive measures can help your child maintain good oral health, while also strengthening his or her resistance to other bacteria-caused illnesses. Keep in mind that if your child already suffers from asthma or another chronic respiratory condition, he or she may be particularly vulnerable to pneumonia.
Good dental care is a simple, cost-effective and proven way to defend your child’s oral health and general well-being. Make an appointment at KiDDS Dental so we can review these measures with you and your child.
Click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.