Important Facts about Oral Hygiene

How much do know about oral hygiene? Most people understand the importance of daily brushing and flossing, but there’s a lot more to it than that.

These facts are some important elements of proper and effective preventative care. How many people have cavities or periodontal disease? What causes tooth decay? How does fluoride work? There are many facts that can impact your oral hygiene, and it’s important to know things like:

A Healthy Lifestyle Affects Your Smile

The Journal of Periodontalogy Online suggests that maintaining a normal weight, engaging in the recommended level of exercise, and sticking to a high-quality diet can lead to better dental health and reduce the risk of periodontitis.

Plaque is a Fighter

Plaque can’t be removed with a short or half-hearted effort with a toothbrush. You need to brush for an extended period to get it done correctly, which usually requires at least two or three minutes.

Technique Is More Important than Technology

An extremely expensive toothbrush won’t mean a thing if your brushing technique is wrong. On the other hand, a cheaper brush that is used correctly (i.e. placing the brush at a 45 degree angle toward the gum line and gently moving bristles back and forth in short strokes, making sure to get every surface) will kill the bacteria that cause decay.

Fluoride Is a Key Component of Oral Health

Fluoride is found naturally in many water sources, and it has been added to public water supplies for more than 70 years. Since its addition to water supplies as well as toothpastes and mouthwashes there has been a significant decrease in the number of cavities. It can remineralize and strengthen teeth to help them last longer.

The Number of Children with Cavities

According to the most recent statistics, 42% of children between the ages of 2 and 11 have had cavities in their primary teeth, while 23% of kids in that demographic currently have untreated cavities. In the slightly older category – 6 to 11 – 21% of children have cavities in their permanent teeth, and 3% of them have yet to treat the decay. What these numbers show us is the need to focus on oral hygiene as early as possible.

The Number of Adults with Cavities

The same studies showed that 92% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have had a cavity in their permanent teeth. Just over a quarter of them have yet to properly get treated for them. So if you have had a few cavities in your day, don’t feel too bad. The vast majority of the population has dealt with it at some point in their life.

Who Is Getting the Necessary Care

It’s easy for some people to put off going to the dentist. 12% of adults between 20 and 64 years old have not been to the dentist in the last 5 years. About 60% of adults in that age range have made it to the dentist in the past year.

Periodontal Disease is the Leading Cause of Tooth Loss

There are a lot of potential problems that can lead to tooth loss, but the most common culprit is periodontal disease. This condition is also more likely to cause loss of the front teeth than the back, making it readily apparent to everyone what’s going on.

Cavities are Caused by More than Sugar

Sugar is a big contributor to cavities, but any carbs can start the decaying process because the bacteria that live in your mouth feeds on them. That means rice, potatoes, bread, fruits and vegetables that leave particles on your teeth can lead to cavities.

Cavities can be Sneaky

Many people assume that they’ll know when they have a cavity because it will be painful and obvious. Sometimes you will feel it, but that only means it’s grown really big. It could have been stopped much earlier before you start feeling pain.

There are a lot of important facts about oral hygiene, as well as several myths. Stick to the facts and you’ll keep the beautiful smile and healthy teeth you really want.