Most people are lazy when it comes to maintaining oral hygiene. Sure, maybe you brush twice daily and maybe even floss once in a while. But when brushing, are you fulfilling the two-minute requirement to sufficiently remove plaque? Are you thoroughly flossing those hard-to-reach teeth in the back? Are you using an electric toothbrush rather than a manual one do a deep cleaning instead of just the outer surfaces?
Probably not, because statistics show that less than 10 percent of us are taking care of our teeth the way dentists recommend.
“But I haven’t had any cavities in years! Why should I do more when my current methods are enough?” you ask. Well, there are three big reasons that the average person would consider good reasons to go above and beyond with teeth cleaning.
Those altoids you pop in your mouth after lunch only do so much for a limited amount of time, usually about 30 minutes. If you don’t practice excellent oral hygiene habits, your natural reeking breath rebounds until you do something about it. Think about that. Whether you’re in the middle of a first date or a job interview, or even just talking, bad breath (known as Halitosis) can affect how others perceive you.
First impressions mean the most, and a great smile helps you look and feel your best. Even if you had braces and your teeth whitened by a cosmetic dentist, insufficient habits will inevitably lead to the downfall of your pearly whites. Staining drinks like red wine and coffee stain your teeth too, and also leave sugar behind for the bacteria to feast on. Make sure to immediately brush your teeth after eating or drinking the following to best maintain your smile:
Red or White Wine
You may not see any serious expenses billed right now, but long-term mediocre oral habits will inevitably result in necessary surgeries, dental implants and gum disease. Perhaps this is the most important reason to make time for healthy habits. Poor oral care is linked to many medical conditions, both dental and non-dental. For example, did you know that those with type one and type two diabetes have a higher risk of suffering dental problems? Some of these problems include tooth decay (cavities), Gingivitis (gum disease) and Periodontitis (advanced gum disease).
Tooth decay - Cavities are formed when the natural bacteria in your mouth interacts with the starches and sugars in food you eat, leaving a film of plaque on your teeth. This plaque eats away the protective layer over your teeth, called enamel. Those with high blood sugar levels produce more starch and sugar, which puts more pressure on teeth and disintegrates parts of them.
Gingivitis - Gum disease, in its early stages, develops when a person goes without brushing or flossing regularly. The initially easy-to-remove plaque coating the teeth begins to harden, forming tartar. Tartar irritates the gum line, leaving gums to bleed easily and swell.