Most of us have heard, “brush twice daily, floss once daily.” Some of us follow these directions, and some of us don’t. Those who don’t may be wondering why it matters how often we brush our teeth, besides the obvious reduction of bad breath, plaque, and cavities. The truth is, our oral health really does matter, and what’s going on in our mouths can affect our overall health.
Here are 3 reasons why the state of your teeth matters:
- When you don’t take care of your teeth, you’re likely to lose them, which can make daily functions more difficult. Without teeth, it can be hard to talk and eat solid foods.
- Failing to brush and floss can lead to the development of gum disease, which has been linked to other health issues. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, “men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer,54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.”
- People pay attention to your smile. One survey indicates that”52 percent of adults older than 50 and 45 percent of the 18-49 demographic are most likely to remember a smile after they’re introduced to someone for the first time.”
So, what can you do to take care of your teeth and gums? You guessed it…brush and floss. While these tasks aren’t complicated, you do want to make sure that you are brushing and flossing correctly. So, next time you pick up your toothbrush or a strand of floss, keep these tips in mind:
- Brush correctly. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth and the surface of each tooth.
- Don’t forget your tongue. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.
(Note: Do not swallow any toothpaste, and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after you finish brushing.)
- Brush at specific times each day. The best times to brush are
- In the morning after breakfast
- After lunch or right after school
- After dinner
- At bedtime
- Use your middle fingers to floss. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque.
- Switch to clean sections of floss as you go. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish.
- Don’t forget the teeth in the back! Floss behind all of your back teeth.
- Pay attention to your teeth when you floss. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not stop after the first few times flossing, let a staff member know at your next appointment.
We hope that the information in this article have encouraged you to take your oral health seriously. If you have any questions or concerns, please visit our website or call our office to schedule an appointment – (919) 468-6410.
Take care of your smile!