WHY DIDN’T I KNOW THIS ABOUT MY DENTAL HEALTH?
Chances are you don’t think about your teeth as much as you do your eyes, hair, nails or feet unless you have a toothache. But the truth is, your pearly whites do far more than you give them credit for. They help you eat, speak, and smile, but more importantly, they play an important role when it comes to your overall health.
The team at Bela Family Dentistry of Wagener want to share a few facts about dental health that you can sink your teeth into. Most of them, we think, will really surprise you.
1. TOOTH DECAY IS THE SECOND MOST COMMON DISEASE.
When it comes to diseases in the US, tooth decay is only second to the common cold. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, approximately 92% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have had it, while 59% of teenagers aged between 12 and 19 have tooth decay. Bearing in mind cavities and tooth decay is mostly preventable, these are frightening statistics.
2. THERE IS SOMETHING FAR WORSE FOR YOUR TEETH THAN SUGARY DRINKS.
We all know sugary sodas are extremely bad for your teeth, but some other foods and drinks are just as bad, and in some cases, even worse. This is because some of the ingredients that can be found in these beverages include tartaric acid, citric acid, and phosphoric acid that are bad for your teeth. Read the label of any beverages you purchase. And to prevent damage to your teeth in those situations when you can’t read labels, we suggest you brush them straight after having any beverages other than water.
3. HEADACHES? VISIT YOUR DENTIST.
Did you know that some dental issues can cause headaches, which is why you should mention them to your dentist? For example, migraines can be triggered by certain bacteria in your mouth. This specific bacteria can increase nitric oxide in your bloodstream, which can trigger migraines. If you suffer from frequent headaches, don’t keep reaching for the painkillers, instead make an appointment with your dentist.
4. NOT ALL MOUTHWASHES ARE CREATED EQUAL.
Here is another interesting fact that you probably didn’t know. Not all mouthwashes are the same. Store-bought products will combat bad breath for half an hour so, but that’s about all they do. In addition to this, some products have ingredients that are actually bad for you. Because there are mouthwashes that do different things, it is a good idea to ask your dentist which one is the most suitable for your needs.
5. YOUR MOUTH IS HOME TO ABOUT 300 BACTERIA TYPES.
Yes, you read that right. At any given time between 200 and 300 types of bacteria are living in your mouth. The good news is not all are harmful to your teeth, in fact, they are actually necessary. But when you don’t look after your teeth, those bacteria combine with the acids and sugars in the food we eat, which results in cavities, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. If you thought that was scary, tooth decay is actually infectious, and a 10-second kiss can spread 80 million bacteria.
6. YOU MUST REPLACE YOUR TOOTHBRUSH REGULARLY.
Over time your toothbrush becomes less effective at cleaning your teeth and removing plaque, which means you should replace your toothbrush every two to three months. If you have an electric toothbrush, the head needs should be replaced. If you have had a cold, the flu, or some other viral infection, then you should replace it immediately afterward. This is because the disease-causing microbes become embedded on the bristles, and can make you sick all over again.
7. CHEWING GUM IS YOUR FRIEND.
Here is something else you probably didn’t know either. Sugar-free chewing gum with xylitol is actually good for your teeth and gums because it fights the harmful bacteria in your mouth. It is even used in toothpaste, to sweeten it.
8. SAY CHEESE.
By now you know that cheese is rich in calcium, which is good for strengthening your teeth. But were you aware that it can prevent tooth decay? According to studies, this unassuming dairy product increases the alkaline levels in your saliva, which in turn neutralizes the plaque causing acids. It also creates a protective layer around your teeth, making it much harder for bacteria to attack.
9. WHAT COMES FIRST? COFFEE OR BRUSHING TEETH?
Do you brush your teeth before or after breakfast? While most people think it is best to brush after, the experts recommend you do it before. And Dr. Zerener at Bela Family Dentistry of Wagener agrees.
This is because a lot of the foods we have for breakfast are acidic, including fresh fruit juice and even coffee. These foods and drinks weaken the enamel on our teeth, and brushing too soon afterward can result in enamel erosion. It is best to brush before a meal, or alternatively, to wait 30 minutes after you have eaten.
10. WORLD ORAL HEALTH DAY IS A THING.
Your dental health is so important that there is even a World Oral Health Day. It is celebrated on the 20th of March, since 2007. This year why not celebrate it with a visit to Bela Family Dentistry of Wagener?