Keeping your teeth clean is a daily battle. Or at least it should be.
While many Americans brush at least twice a day, only 22% claim to floss every day. But even those who brush may not be brushing correctly. The result? A significant percentage of the country is technically following the American Dental Association’s guidelines, but are still not maintaining proper oral health.
If you’re worried about your teeth, here are a few helpful hints to get the most out of your oral care routines and regimens.
Maximize Your Brushing.
Proper brushing should take at least two minutes per session, and should cover as much of your enamels surface as possible. But it can still be difficult to tell if you’re really doing a good job. But technology may have a solution.
Oral-B has announced a new electric toothbrush that can actually report every brushstroke to a smartphone app (via Bluetooth) and send the results directly to your dentist for review at your next appointment. The app also provides a real-time guide for effective brushing, which can tell you which spots need more attention and how much pressure to apply.
Regular Trips to the Dentist.
Of course, the Oral-B app is only effective if you keep up with your twice-yearly dental appointments so your dentist can go over your brushing habits with you. But even if you are an expert-level brusher, you dental visits can also chart health habits and dental problems that brushing alone won’t address.
For instance, almost three quarters of all Americans have some form of gum disease. But since early- and middle-stage gum disease is virtually painless, many of them may not know there’s a problem until the root and bone have been irreparably damaged. A visit to your dentist every six months can let you know of any problems before it becomes too late.
Drink More Water.
Surprisingly, one of the best things you can do for your oral health is to drink more tap water. Instances of tooth decay have been reduced by 55% since the 1940’s, thanks to the fluoridation of community water.
Fluoride is a natural mineral that can be found in food and water. Just the presence of fluoride actually strengthens your teeth. Since World War II, additional fluoride has been added to community tap water supplies, which are now available to over 60% of the population.
Keeping your enamel strong is the first step in keeping your teeth healthy. Brushing and flossing can protect your enamel from excessive bacterial byproducts, and drinking fluoridated tap water can strengthen softened enamel. Add to that your regular trips to the dentist (perhaps with a boost from a dental smartphone app?), and you have the ingredients for stellar dental care that will serve you your whole life through.