A report published by Delta Dental found that almost 70% of Americans brush their teeth at least twice a day. That’s a great statistic for those who adhere to the recommended routine, but looking at that number also reveals a more pressing issue: more than 30 percent aren’t brushing enough. Also, 23 percent of Americans have gone two or more days without brushing.
Another alarming finding from the study showed only 40% of Americans floss daily and as many as 20 percent never floss. Many people with these bad habits make excuses to their dentists and others swear they will start doing it immediately. Fortunately, it is never too late to get back on track and following through.
Great Ways to Stay on Track
- Create a chart to track your progress. Be sure to check off each day you meet your goals, which will give you a visual of your improvements. This works great for families – it can help keep each other on track.
- Remember it’s time to brush your teeth by setting a repeating alarm on your phone.
- There are some wonderful phone apps available to download to help you stay on track with your dental regimen. These include Virtual Dentist, Brush DJ, Brush Teeth or Text2Floss.
Develop an Effective Oral Hygiene Regimen
Most of your dental care is done at home by you. If you are willing to practice good dental care every day, you’ll keep decay and periodontal disease at bay. Here are some tips on the basics:
Find dental products you like. Let everyone in your family choose the dental products they like as long as they meet their oral health needs. That means tooth brushes, toothpaste and floss. You’ll get more daily brushing and flossing from your family members if you take this approach.
Brush and floss twice a day. Brush your teeth properly with a soft toothbrush for a total of 4-6 minutes daily. And be sure to floss as well. If you haven’t flossed in a while, the first week back flossing may leave your gums a bit tender. The tenderness will stop if you stick with it. Watch television while flossing to take your mind off the tenderness.
Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Sugar feeds the growth of plaque, which leads to cavities. Be careful when you consume sodas and other sugar-laden drinks and remember that many foods have a high sugar content. Avoid high sugar foods and drinks and instead keep foods healthy for your teeth in the kitchen for snacks. Nuts, cheeses, yogurt, raw vegetables and water are great for your oral health.
Rinse with water after eating. Rinsing your mouth with water after you eat washes away food particles from your teeth and gums. Remember, food particles that mingle with bacteria in your mouth produce harmful acids that eat away at your teeth.
Schedule your regular dental appointments! Come in every six months for a cleaning and check up!
Sources: American Dental Association, Delta Dental, Colgate, Techflier.com