At Confident Smiles, we know and understand the importance of good preventive care. Part of this includes brushing and flossing your teeth properly. Good dental preventive care is critical to ensuring a healthy mouth, including your gums and teeth.
Many people don’t know that their oral health actually has a significant impact on their overall health too. Poor oral hygiene can lead to or worsen a myriad of illnesses and conditions like diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and COPD. It can even cause problems during pregnancy, such as having a baby with low birth weight which is directly linked to lung and heart conditions, as well as learning disorders.
More than 1 in 4 (27%) adults in the United States have untreated tooth decay, and nearly half (46%) of Americans over 30 show some signs of gum disease. Severe gum disease affects about 1 in 10 adults in the U.S., and an astounding 78% of Americans have at least one cavity by the time they are 17. These are all easily preventable by following a preventative program of brushing and flossing every day.
To keep your mouth in tip-top shape, brushing your teeth at least twice per day is essential to help remove plaque and food particles that get stuck to your teeth. We recommend that you brush your teeth for two minutes (or longer), though most people rush through this time. You need to make sure that you reach every side of each tooth, including the inside and outside. To help keep your breath fresh, you should also brush your tongue. Then, you can begin flossing.
It is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) that you floss your teeth at least once daily. Flossing is done to remove plaque that gets stuck in between your teeth. It also gets rid of any plaque or food that your toothbrush missed (or can’t get to)! If you don’t floss, you will have more problems with tartar, cavities, and even gum disease.
Though many people hate to do it, flossing is vital. You can use dental floss or even a pick that is specially designed for flossing. Though flossing shouldn’t be painful, it can feel different and awkward, so it is important to keep at it. After a few days or weeks, it will become part of your dental routine.
In addition to these recommendations, Dr. Dogra also recommends that you avoid the following because they are especially harmful to your teeth and/or overall oral health:
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
- Drinking soda and sports drinks
- Eating gummy candy or dried fruits
- Chewing on ice
- Consuming acidic foods like citrus
If you do indulge in any of the above, we recommend at least rinsing very well with water afterward and brushing your teeth, if possible.
Here are some fun and interesting facts about teeth and oral hygiene:
- Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body
- The average person only brushes their teeth for 45-70 seconds which is far less than the recommended 2-minute minimum
- Over 300 types of bacteria make up dental plaque
- When you skip flossing, you miss cleaning about 40% of each tooth’s surface
- If you’re right-handed you probably tend to chew on the right side of your mouth, and vice versa
- More people use blue toothbrushes than red ones
- Giraffes only have bottom teeth
- Dogs have 42 teeth, cats have 30, pigs have 44, and an armadillo has 104!
- A snail’s mouth is no larger than the head of a pin, but it can have over 25,000 teeth! Can you imagine having to brush that many?!
If you have any questions about brushing your teeth, flossing, or anything else about home care, please contact us today at (916) 736-2801.