Last updated on Jan 26th, 2021 at 10:47 am

Flashing a beautiful smile doesn’t just indicate that you have healthy teeth and gums…

While many people dread dentist’s visits, few know that regular dental check-ups could reveal a lot more about your health.

There is a 70% increase in risk of developing heart disease for those with poor oral hygiene compared to those who brush their teeth twice a day.

Research has linked gum disease to coronary heart disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes and even diabetes. Recently, it was discovered that women with gum disease may find it even harder to conceive.

In South Africa, gum disease ranks second only to the common cold in terms of prevalence, with an estimated 90% of South Africans experiencing the problem at some point.

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Start early

According to the World Dental Federation, oral diseases affect 3,9 million people worldwide, with between 60% and 90% of children globally suffering from tooth decay.

When it comes to your child’s health, don’t underestimate the importance of looking after those milk teeth.

A child’s primary teeth, also called milk teeth or ‘baby teeth’, are as important as permanent teeth. Primary teeth help children chew and speak and hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are developing under the gums; and are important for the proper growth of the face and jaw.

Limit sugar

Tooth decay is the most common oral disease in children under five years of age, and, although preventable, still affects many children. By the time children are six years old, many of them have experienced some form of tooth decay.

Sugars are the main cause of tooth decay, so limit your child’s intake of sugar-filled foods and drinks, including fruit juice. Although seemingly healthy, fruit juice can contribute to tooth decay because of its high concentration of acids and sugars.

Tooth decay is 100% preventable. Remember, oral hygiene is not only about having fresh breath and a bright smile – it’s also directly linked to your health. So go on – get brushing!

Sources: and

September is National Oral Health Month 

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.