People who fail to brush their teeth at least 2X’s a day may be putting themselves at risk of heart disease, and advanced gum disease can raise your risk of a fatal heart attack up to 10X.
There is also a 700% higher incidence of type 2 diabetes among those with gum disease, because of the inflammatory effects of unbalanced microflora in your mouth.
Other health effects associated with poor oral health include an increased risk of:
- Bad breath aka halitosis
- Dementia: failing to brush 2X a day increases your risk of dementia by as much as 65%
- Pneumonia: good oral hygiene has been shown to lower your risk of pneumonia by about 40%. Other research has shown that people with periodontitis have a 300% greater chance of contracting pneumonia
- Erectile dysfunction (ED): ED is more than 3X as common among those with periodontitis than those without ED
- Kidney disease
Overall, out diet is the most significant determinant of oral and dental health, but how we clean our teeth can also make a big difference. Flossing is an important strategy for oral health, yet 33% of American adults never floss.
If you are one of them, I am encouraging you to reconsider.
The Why of Flossing, as follows:
Flossing is perhaps even more important than brushing because it removes bacteria that are the precursors of plaque, which if left to fester will turn into tartar that cannot be removed by regular brushing or flossing.
Tartar is what eventually causes the damage that leads to decay and tooth loss. Most people are aware that flossing is a recommended practice for optimal oral health, yet about 33% of Americans never floss.
Notably: 20% Americans do not brush their teeth 2X a day.
According to recent published survey data;
- 32.4% of US adults over the age of 30 never floss
- 37.3% floss, but not daily
- 30.3% floss on a daily basis
- More women than men never floss
- Low-income participants are less likely to floss than those in higher income brackets
How to Floss your teeth, as follows:
Use a piece of floss that is about 15 to 18 ins long, wrapping each end around your index fingers. Slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it around the side of the tooth in the shape of a “C.”
Scrub the area by moving the floss up and down, and back and forth. Make sure you scrub both sides of the adjacent teeth before moving on to the next set.
If you have wider spaces between your teeth, use Super Floss, which is thicker.
If dexterity is an issue, use soft plaque removers. Similar to toothpicks, they allow you to clean between your teeth with 1 hand. A double-pronged floss holder is another option.
While flossing, you can get telltale signs of potential health problems.
For example: bleeding gums is a warning sign that you have bacteria in your mouth causing damage, which can easily spread through your blood stream and cause chronic inflammation elsewhere in your body.
The answer is to gently floss and brush your teeth more often, until your gums no longer bleed from brushing or flossing. If bleeding persists longer than a week, see a Dentist.
A Waterpik cannot replace flossing.
These types of irrigation tools can also be hard on your gums. If you brush and floss properly, you have no need for a Waterpik.
However, a Waterpik can be beneficial for orthodontia patients with braces.
How to Brush your Teeth
Research suggests the ideal brushing time is 2 mins, and the ideal pressure is 150 grams (gm), which is about the weight of an orange. Brushing your teeth too hard and longer than necessary can cause more harm than good.
Researchers note that brushing longer than 2 mins, and/or using pressure greater than 150 gm does not remove any additional plaque, so there is no reason brush longer and harder
Toothpaste, use non-fluoridated versions, people are becoming aware of fluoride’s downsides and dangers.
Toxic toothpaste ingredients to avoid include: triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), propylene glycol and diethanolamine (DEA).
Growing up we made our own toothpaste, you can do that today, using ingredients such as coconut oil, baking soda, and a bit of Himalayan Salt. High-quality peppermint essential oil can be added for flavor and cavity prevention. It is good!
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively