Oral hygiene is important to be carried out on a regular basis to keep your mouth clean. Although you might be aware of the importance of your teeth and mouth health, it is still beneficial to receive a reminder once in a while.
Especially since according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the most prevalent chronic disease among children and adults is tooth decay/caries.
Here are the numbers:
- 42% of children 2 to 11 have had dental caries in their primary teeth.
- 21% of children 6 to 11 have had dental caries in their permanent teeth.
- 59% of adolescents 12 to 19 have had dental caries in their permanent teeth.
- 92% of adults 20 to 64 have had dental caries in their permanent teeth.
- 93% of seniors 65 and older have had dental caries in their permanent teeth along with tooth loss.
Dental caries form when bacteria destroys the tooth enamel.
If you don’t clean your mouth properly after eating, food residue builds up on the tongue, gums, and between the teeth, providing a perfect medium for the bacteria to grow.
The first stage of the digestive process happens in the mouth when saliva breaks down carbohydrates into sugars.
There is one bacterium that naturally resides in your mouth, Streptococcus mutans.
This bacterium loves sugar and as it digests the sugars, it produces acids that attack the dental enamel.
Over time, the acids break the enamel, a process known as tooth decay, which also comes along with an awful smell.
The plaque is formed from the adherence of the bacterium and food residues to the teeth. Over time, left unremoved, it calcifies and becomes increasingly difficult to remove.
Plaque irritates the gums, and eventually, it can lead to gum disease, which can lead to other serious consequences such as gum bleeding, chronic oral infections, and if left untreated, tooth loss.
Still not concerned? Statistics would say otherwise:
- Adults age 20 to 64 have an average of 25 remaining teeth in their mouth (out of 32 or 28 if the wisdom teeth are removed).
The numbers are pretty shocking considering how much the media and educational systems are trying to implement proper mouth care.
The fact that over 90% of adults are dealing with tooth decay and that the majority lose at least three teeth during their lifetime is a definite call for concern.
What can YOU do about oral health?
Because prevention is not as costly and troublesome as the treatment, I am here to help you. And it is not even as hard as you might think!
Never forget to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two full minutes, no matter in what a rush or sleepy state you are.
- Also, don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove the bacteria and foul smell.
- In the end, you can floss in an up and down the sides of the tooth motion, NOT a sawing motion (for it irritates the gums).
- Finish it all up with mouthwash, and you are good to go.
Being healthy is a choice and I hope you will make a habit out of this activity for the rest of your life.
Related: Take care and smile brightly!