February is National Children’s Dental Month. It’s a great time to discuss the importance of oral hygiene for both young and old.
Though your enamel is the hardest part of your body — even harder than your bones — it’s not invincible. One of the absolute worst things for your teeth is sugar, and one of the biggest culprits of sneaking sugar into your mouth is soda. The American Dental Association’s slogan for 2020’s National Children’s Dental health Month is “Fluoride in water prevents cavities! Get it from the tap!” With that in mind, drink more water! Not only will it limit the amount of sugar exposed to your teeth, it will also make sure you get the fluoride you need to protect against cavities and dental disease.
Tooth decay is actually extremely common among children.
In fact, according to the CDC, it’s the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11 years and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years. It’s more common than asthma among adolescents aged 14 to 17 years. The CDC also says that tooth decay also affects adults, with a staggering 9 of 10 over the age of 20 having some degree of tooth-rot decay. According to the University of Utah, among adults aged 20-64, 91 percent had cavities and 27 percent had untreated tooth decay.
Mayo Clinic has some great guides for caring for your teeth properly. You should use proper equipment to brush your teeth at least twice per day. Take two minutes to do a thorough job. Remember to clean your tongue, too, as it can harbor bacteria. A fluoride toothpaste should be sued, and a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably.
Aim your bristles toward the area where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with circular short back-and-forth motions. Rinse your toothbrush, and store it in an upright position so that it will air-dry until the next use. Don’t consistently cover your toothbrushes either, as this can encourage the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast. Get a new toothbrush every three months at least.
Flossing is also extremely important as it can remove debris and bacteria under the gum line that your toothbrush can’t reach.
In addition to daily flossing and brushing, use a mouthwash containing fluoride. Don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating very acidic food as this could actually damage the enamel. Instead, rinse your mouth out with some water and postpone brushing for at least an hour.
I found a lot of interesting facts about teeth on Loudon Dental Associates’ website. I’ve compiled them so that you’ll realize how special your chompers are and how vital it is they’re taken care of.
Most adults brush their teeth between 45 and 70 seconds (two minutes is the recommended amount of time). The average American will spend 38.5 days brushing their teeth.
The average human has 32 teeth. Dogs have 42, cats have 30 and an armadillo has 104 teeth. Giraffes do not have any top teeth. A snail can have as many as 25,000.
The earliest dentist was known as Hesi-Re from Egypt, who lived more than 5,000 years ago.
George Washington’s teeth were actually not made from wood. They were made from ivory, gold, and other human teeth. Since dentists weren’t as common then, replacements for teeth were common.
What we know as toothpaste has only existed for about 100 years. In Ancient Greece, coral powder, alabaster, talc, pumice and even iron rust were used as toothpaste.
What hand you write with will typically determine what side you chew your food on.
Treat every day like it’s National Dental Health Day and take great care of your teeth!