September 21, 2020
All of the public service announcements and campaigns about the importance of good oral health and taking care of your teeth have not contributed to decreasing some of the most embarrassing statistics regarding this aspect of public health. As many as 23% of Americans still do not brush their teeth twice a day, and nearly 40% of US adults don’t go to the dentist regularly.
These stats paint a quite depressing picture. However, spreading awareness and encouraging people to make better choices still seem to be the most effective methods of improving the situation. Encouraging people to use high fluoride toothpaste and improving workers' insurance plans to include dental care can all go a long way in improving the oral health of people all across the country.
Education needs to start at a young age -- showing scary videos about tooth decay doesn't seem to be working too well. Children need practical classes on how to floss correctly and take proper care of their teeth and gums. More focus needs to be placed on the importance of brushing and flossing every single day to prevent mouth diseases, rather than just scaring people with oral cancer and other, equally terrifying conditions.
So, what exactly is good oral hygiene and how to maintain it? Keep reading to find out how to start taking better care of your teeth today!
Back to the Basics
Even if you do brush your teeth twice every day, there is a significant chance that you're doing it wrong. Many adults maintain poor brushing technique, and, worse yet, they teach it to their children! It's an issue that spans across generations, which has caused many preventable cases of gum disease and even more dire conditions.
Here is how to use the toothbrush correctly:
● The toothbrush should be approximately at a 45° degree in relation to the gums,
● Don't brush too hard! Use gentle movements, back and forth across all of your teeth, in short, but precise strokes,
● Be sure to cover the inner and outer surfaces of the teeth thoroughly - don't miss a spot!
If you adhere to these instructions, your oral health should already improve. There is a long way to go from brushing correctly to good oral hygiene, though.
Don't Forget about Flossing!
For most people, flossing is an afterthought, something to lie to their dentist about and never think of again. It's not the wisest approach, especially when you consider the fact that you're missing up to a third of the surface of all your teeth if you don't floss regularly. Combine that with the stats about people disregarding mouth care altogether, and you'll get a pretty dark overview of modern society.
Most instances of gum disease stem from people excluding flossing from their daily routines. They use various excuses, such as discomfort and bleeding gums, as well as simply the disbelief in the effectiveness of floss. The truth is that only the combination of brushing and flossing can significantly keep your dental hygiene at the right level and prevent tooth decay.
In fact, you don't even need to floss to get the same effects, if you really hate doing it. There are plenty of dentist-approved flossing alternatives that will help you achieve the same result. No more excuses!
Watch What Goes in Your Mouth
All the brushing, flossing, and oral health knowledge in the world won't save you from gum disease and dental problems if you treat your teeth like an invincible biting machine. There are plenty of foodstuffs and recreational products that people constantly consume, which can contribute to the deterioration of their mouth’s condition.
Quite obviously, the main culprit is smoking and all other tobacco products. Cigarettes and chewing tobacco are the leading causes behind oral cancer and other dental conditions that are difficult, or outright impossible to get rid of. If you're a smoker -- quit immediately.
Regardless of what many salesmen will tell you, there is no magic toothpaste or oral health routine for smokers that will shield you from the destructive effects of this nasty habit.
Secondly, limit your intake of alcoholic drinks. They also contribute to dental deterioration. On top of that, alcohol is also really bad for your liver!
You need to put in the work in order to enjoy a healthy mouth and strong teeth for a long time. Brush and floss on a daily basis. Use toothpaste approved by health authorities (it should contain fluoride). Finally, and perhaps most importantly, keep in touch with your dentist and make arrangements for regular dental checkups -- you should have them at least once a year.
Healthy teeth won't only make you feel better -- they'll also help you look better. You'll feel the difference both in your private and professional endeavors. Poor dental hygiene can scare people away and make them less likely to do business or engage romantically with you.