Print Posted on 03/31/2017 in General Care

24 hour dentistry

24 hour dentistry

Taking care of your teeth and gums can mean more than just a healthy looking smile. Good oral health can help reduce the chance of decayed teeth or gum disease, and the resulting unsightly and poor hygiene that follows. There’s also growing evidence of a connection between a healthy mouth and your overall health.

It's easy once you understand the basic routines required to maintain good dental hygiene. Get started with some basic dental education and a thorough awareness of the steps that should and should not be taken toward great, long-term oral health.

Oral hygiene benefits

Daily cleaning of your teeth, gums, and tongue, combined with annual check-ups helps ward off harmful bacteria and microbes that may cause tooth decay, bleeding gums, and oral infections. Proper oral hygiene is also important in helping you stay healthy, especially if you have risk factors such as diabetes. Maintaining proper oral hygiene assures that you won’t experience embarrassing conditions, such as plaque, tartar, and bad breath. This is especially true for teenagers and adults who frequently interact with others at work or in social situations. It also lowers the need to treat dental problems that could otherwise be prevented.

Oral hygiene for adults

Periodontal (gum) disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Many adults experience significant dental problems that could be prevented through basic oral hygiene practices, like regular dentist appointments. For example, CDC data in 2014 indicated that only 62 percent of adults surveyed had visited the dentist. To maintain optimal oral health, adults should brush their teeth at least twice a day, preferably after each meal and before going to bed. Flossing is also an essential part of an adult’s daily oral hygiene regimen. Regular brushing and flossing can prevent unpleasant conditions, such as plaque and bad odor. However, over-brushing or flossing may result in mouth bruises and bleeding, which can lead to infections.

Chronic inflammation from gum disease has been associated with cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, blockages of blood vessels, and strokes. While a cause-and-effect relationship between gum disease and these serious health problems hasn’t been proven, both share common risk factors but it’s not clear if one increases the risk of the other. Diabetes also has a strong association with periodontal disease.

Oral hygiene for kids

Enforcing good oral hygiene habits early in a child’s life is essential for their overall well-being. Though they are temporary, baby teeth are important for a child to chew food, as well as help make sure their adult teeth come in correctly. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a major cause of tooth loss in children is cavities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the number of cavities in children between the ages of two and five has escalated by 15 percent.

Baby bottle tooth decay is a common problem for children getting their first set of teeth. Babies are more prone to tooth decay if they are put to bed with a bottle or given a bottle filled with sugary liquids, like juice or soda. Place only formula, milk or breast milk in bottles.

While baby teeth should be cleaned using a washcloth, young babies should eventually have their teeth and tongues brushed using soft brushes. It is important for parents to teach children the proper way to brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste, to take them for regular dental check-ups, and to serve foods that will help strengthen teeth. If children have poor diets, their teeth may not develop properly. They need protein, vitamins, minerals, especially calcium and phosphorous, to build strong teeth and resist tooth decay and gum disease. These can come from milk, cheese, and vegetables.

Oral hygiene statistics 

According to a report published in 2015 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics:

  • Roughly 78 percent of Americans have had at least one cavity by age 17.
  • 80 percent of the U.S. population has some form of periodontal (gum) disease.
  • Americans have made about 500 million visits to dentists and spent an estimated $98.6 billion on dental services.
  • 16 percent of children ages 6-19 and 23 percent of adults 20-64 had untreated cavities.
  • Dental fluorosis (overexposure to fluoride) is higher in adolescents than in adults and highest among those aged 12–15.
  • Most adults show signs of periodontal or gingival diseases. Severe periodontal disease affects approximately 14 percent of adults aged 45-54.
  • 23 percent of 65-74 year olds have severe periodontal disease
  • Men are more likely than women to have more severe dental diseases.
  • Oral cancer occurs twice as frequently in men as women.
  • Three out of four patients don’t change their toothbrush as often as is recommended. Toothbrushes should be changed every two to three months and after illnesses. 

Oral hygiene greatly affects overall long-term health, and promotes a more confident you. When it comes to dental care, prevention through daily cleaning and regular visits to the dentist’s office is better not only for your health, but for your budget. That's why it's important for parents to play a key role in reinforcing smart oral hygiene habits. Kids are likely to follow in the footsteps of those who set positive examples and will carry those healthy habits through their own adult lives. Remember, whatever your age, it’s never too late to take a serious stand in keeping your teeth healthy and your smile confident.

source: www.humana.com