New Year’s resolutions often include healthy commitments; unfortunately dental care is far too often neglected aspect of health. In fact, one in three people do not brush their teeth twice a day according to the ADA, and the number of people who floss even once a week is abysmal.
Skipping brushing is impacting American teeth. On average adults have 13 or more decayed or missing teeth, that’s 1/3 of your entire mouth! There are serious health repercussions that stem from poor oral health, impacting other systems of the body.
Poor Oral Health Linked to Health Risks
Poor oral health has been linked to chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer and many others. Moreover, at home dental care is crucial to keeping plaque and tartar from building up on the teeth.
By adolescence and carrying into early adulthood a majority of the population has experienced cavities in at least one tooth. Unfortunately as many as one-quarter of adults won’t seek treatment at the dentist for their decay. Moreover, poor oral hygiene can compound with risk factors like smoking and tobacco use, chronic diseases like HIV or diabetes, frequent alcohol use, poor diet, age, or gender, further impacting populations that are disproportionately impacted by poor oral health.
The good news is that cavities are 100% preventable if you focus on daily preventative care verses restorative treatment. Take care of your teeth and gums, and you diminish your risk of developing oral health issues and lower your risk factors for other conditions.
While not brushing enough definitely presents a problem, it is also possible to brush too frequently, which can erode tooth enamel. Brushing twice a day or three times maximum, paired with flossing and mouthwash is sufficient for keeping the teeth and gums clean. Visit the dentist every six months for a professional exam and cleaning to screen for potential oral health issues.