Over 4 billion people globally do not possess healthy teeth – making it one of the most underrated health issues affecting mankind today. The effects of oral health issues are so dire that over 34 million learning hours are disrupted and a further $45 billion productivity loss is experienced in the US alone.
While this figure may be appalling, the percentage of untreated caries is approximately 13.2% for kids and 25.9% for adults. The majority of which, 59% adults cite lack of funds as their number one reason for not having checked out by a dentist. But that’s not a good enough reason not to have healthy teeth.
Fear of the dentist is second with 22% and lack of a convenient time or location follows with 19%. Now, besides the productivity loss or wasted learning hours, oral health plays a fundamental role in your social life.
If you want to boost your morale with a nice sparkling smile but you don’t have the time or simply can’t afford to book an appointment with a dentist.
Quick Summary: 5 Easy to Do Routines to Get/Keep Health Teeth:
- Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
- Floss Daily
- Minimize sugar & starch intake
- Don’t Forget the Fluoride
- Don’t Miss the Mouthwash Either
Before we delve further into these practices let’s have a look at the most prevalent oral diseases likely to affect you.
The Most Common Oral Disease
The United States alone spends a total of $124 billion each year on dental care and this goes to care for the three of the most prevalent oral diseases.
- Tooth Decay This is mainly caused by the plagues collected on your tooth which harbor
bacterias. These bacterias can produce acid that breaks down the tooth enamel.
- Gum Disease – Once the plague build up the bacterias causes inflammation and
infection on the gums. The guns then become either swollen or red, and may even bleed, among other symptoms.
- Oral cancer – The cause of oral cancer is related to alcohol and tobacco use.
Seventy-five percent of those diagnosed are over 55 years with the average age being 62 years.
Tips For Healthy Teeth
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the number of people bound to have at least one cavity by the age of 34 is 80% and as a matter of fact 1 in 4 adults have cavities. Given these estimates, how do you avoid these oral issues?
1. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
Brushing your teeth twice a day is a recommended practice by health practitioners. It’s ideal to take 2-3 minutes to clean your teeth using the right technique. Instead of the back and forth seesaw movement, use a soft bristle brush and make small circular motions.
Reach to the back of the mouth to the molars and clean thoroughly–the plagues mostly concentrate right there. After every 3 months ensure you replace your toothbrush.
2. Floss Daily
Though more studies are needed to establish its effectiveness, ADA and CDC recommend flossing daily. Flossing is aimed at removing food particles between the teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach.
With an effective flossing method, you’ll be able to reduce the risk of gum disease and also bad breath.
3. Minimize Sugar & Starch Intake
Though sweet and enjoyable, the ADA states that foods rich in sugar(mostly processed foods) and starch, besides being able to be broken down into simple sugars, stay longer in the mouth and bacteria feed on these sugars.
The acids they produce are the cause of tooth decay. You can replace your sugar-rich diet with veggies and fruits, rich in fiber.
4. Don’t Forget the Fluoride
This is a highly recommended ingredient to have in your dental hygiene products, that is your toothpaste and mouthwash. Even if you adhere to oral hygiene practices your oral hygiene efforts will be rendered useless if you decide not to prioritize fluorine-rich products.
It does seem like a lot of people are against fluoride. Take this one poll for instance:
However, ADA, CDC, and WHO vouch for the use of fluorine to the extent that it’s a recommended practice to have it in the water supply.
5. Don’t Miss the Mouthwash Either
Though studies indicate mouthwash effectiveness in controlling gingivitis and plaque it’s not a replacement for brushing and flossing. It’s recommended as a complementing practice and you should consult your dentist to recommend a mouthwash product suitable for you.
However, using too much mouthwash at a single time or using it too often can negatively your teeth.
Your journey to healthy teeth has begun, adhere to the guidelines and you’ll maintain a sparkling and beautiful smile.
Oral Health Fast Facts
Oral Health Fast Facts (2021). Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/fast-facts/index.html (Accessed: 4 August 2021).
FastStats (2021). Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/dental.htm (Accessed: 4 August 2021).
ADA Health Policy Institute FAQ – Dental Patients in the U.S.
ADA Health Policy Institute FAQ – Dental Patients in the U.S. (2021). Available at: https://www.ada.org/en/science-research/health-policy-institute/dental-statistics/patients#:~:text=How%20often%20do%20people%20visit,every%20two%20to%20three%20years. (Accessed: 4 August 2021).
How to keep your teeth clean
How to keep your teeth clean (2018). Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/how-to-keep-your-teeth-clean/ (Accessed: 4 August 2021).