How much does your smile mean to you? What about your overall health? Are they worth five minutes of your time?
That’s what we’re talking about in today’s blog. At Rod Gleave, DMD, we take a comprehensive approach to your dental wellness. We want you to have the knowledge and the tools that will help you achieve your best oral health so you can smile and eat with confidence.
With that in mind, we’re sharing information recently released from the American Dental Association (ADA) regarding the oral hygiene practices in this country. What you learn may surprise you. It can also save your teeth, and ultimately, your life.
You may think that tooth decay is the number one cause of tooth loss in America. But this isn’t true. Actually, the leading cause of tooth loss is gum disease. What’s kind of scary about this fact is that gum disease develops slowly over time, sometimes over many years. You might have noticeable symptoms such as bleeding, red, swollen, or tender gums, or you might not show any symptoms at all!
So how can it be prevented? Well, the short answer is by daily brushing and flossing, as well as visits to your dentist at least twice a year for dental checkups. But how many of us are actually putting this into practice?
The ADA study we mentioned before shows that only one in five Americans admit to flossing once a day. Maybe that’s because people don’t think they have time. Maybe it’s because they have dental anxiety. Perhaps they’re just not familiar with proper technique. Or it could be because there simply isn’t enough said about the dangers of gum disease.
What Are The Dangers Of Gum Disease?
As we said before, gum disease can be very hard to detect without the proper tools and the skills of a dental professional. You could have gum disease for quite a long time without knowing it. What this means is that plaque and tartar buildup can be eating away at your gums and your jawbone, leading to possible infection, loosening of teeth, and eventually tooth loss.
From there, the infection caused by gum disease can enter your bloodstream and cause all sorts of health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, just to name a few. So you see why gum disease can be more than just a danger to your smile?
That’s why it’s so important to follow a good oral hygiene routine at home and to schedule regular checkups with your dentist here in Salt Lake City. If you’re not sure about proper brushing and flossing techniques, just ask!
How Can 5 Minutes A Day Save Your Teeth And Your Life?
The ADA recommends brushing your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush for about two minutes at least twice a day. Make sure you’re using a toothpaste containing fluoride to help strengthen your tooth enamel.
That’s a total of four minutes right there. It’s about as much time as it would take to listen to your favorite song from your iTunes playlist. Many dental experts recommend using a song as your own personal timer. Or use the clock app on your smartphone to actually time yourself if you want to be more accurate.
However you choose to do it, these quick sessions twice a day will bring you one step closer to good oral health.
Now, what about flossing? It doesn’t matter whether you floss in the morning or at night, but many people feel that flossing at night is the best time because you can dislodge any food particles that might still be stuck between your teeth from whatever you ate throughout the day.
Flossing properly should take about a minute of your time, making sure you get between all of your teeth. Again, if you’re unsure about proper technique, all you have to do is ask Dr. Gleave or one of our skilled hygienists!
Do You Have Time For Your Smile This Summer?
And there you have it! Devoting just five minutes a day to oral hygiene is one of the best things you can do to prevent gum disease, keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong, and save your life.