Personal hygiene is important! As ambassadors of Christ (2Co 5:20) we are representing God, and while our main emphasis is to be on the inward adorning of the hidden man of the heart (1Pe 3:4), we should be careful not to forget the outward.
We should dress neat, wear clean clothes, make sure we don’t have bad body odor or bad breath, and conduct ourselves in a way that will not be an offense to those we are trying to win to Christ.
One way to make sure you don’t have bad breath is to take proper care of your teeth. Proper care of your teeth involves brushing and flossing of your teeth after every meal, rinsing your teeth with mouth wash that has tartar control, and regular appointments at the dentist to check for cavities and to have your teeth cleaned of plaque buildup.
Aside from the issue of bad breath, if you neglect the proactive measures of proper dental care you will more than likely end up dealing with expensive dental bills, inflammation of your gums, and a disease called Gingivitis, which results in periodontitis and teeth loss.
This inflammation can, over the years, cause deep pockets between the teeth and gums and loss of bone around teeth—an effect otherwise known as periodontitis. Since the bone in the jaws holds the teeth into the jaws, the loss of bone from periodontitis can cause teeth over the years to become loose and eventually to fall out or need to be extracted because of acute infection.
Proper maintenance (varying from “regular cleanings” to periodontal maintenance or scaling and root planing) above and below the gum line, accomplished professionally by a dental hygienist or dentist, disrupts this plaque biofilm and removes plaque retentive calculus (tartar) to help remove the etiology of inflammation. Once cleaned, plaque will begin to grow on the teeth within hours.
However, it takes approximately 3 months for the pathogenic type of bacteria (typically gram negative anaerobes and spirochetes) to grow back into deep pockets and restart the inflammatory process. Calculus (tartar) may start to reform within 24 hours. Ideally, scientific studies show that all people with deep periodontal pockets (greater than 5 mm) should have the pockets between their teeth and gums cleaned by a dental hygienist or dentist every 3–4 months.
For a tooth brush I use the Philips Sonicare Elite which is recommended #1 by dental professionals.
Listerine with Tartar Control is my choice of mouth wash. It is an antiseptic mouthwash that kills germs that cause gingivitis and plaque and some studies have shown that Listerine antiseptic is as effective as dental floss.
Oral-B Ultrafloss is a good choice for dental floss. Their floss is made from a unique fluffy material designed to avoid irritation, which stretches thin to guide between the teeth, then springs back to clean away plaque. You get 165 feet of pre-measured 18″ lengths of dental floss in one package for around $2.
I use Sensodyne-F Fresh Mint Toothpaste which is the #2 selling toothpaste in Canada next to Sensodyne’s Sensodyne-F Whitening Plus Tartar Fighting Toothpaste.
Perhaps this would be a good time for you to call your dentist and make an appointment for that overdue checkup and clean. Being proactive instead of reactive will save your teeth and your money.