Healthy dental habits
Tips for forming healthier dental habits to maintain your overall health
Due to water fluoridation and fluoride toothpaste, the baby boomer generation is the first to keep their natural teeth over their entire lifetime. However, poor oral hygiene poses a risk of dental complications to all generations.
- Poor oral hygiene is correlated with diseases including heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia and rheumatoid arthritis.1
- Risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco use, alcohol use, poor oral hygiene and human papilloma virus (HPV).
- Gum disease develops when plaque is allowed to build up along and under the gum line. Warning signs include bad breath, tender, bleeding gums, loose teeth, receding gums and pain.
A healthy mouth for a lifetime includes:
- Regular dental visits
- Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes and floss once a day
- DO NOT use tobacco products
- Limit sugary and alcoholic beverages
Brushing is probably the most obvious mouth hygiene component. It’s recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes. Gently brush back and forth in short strokes. Be sure to brush outer, inner and chewing surfaces of the teeth and the tongue. It is a good idea to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
Did you know?
- 27% of adults in the U.S. have tooth decay.
- 46% of adults 30 and older have signs of gum disease.
- 70% of adults 65 and older have periodontal disease.
- Oral cancer affects 51,500 people in the U.S. each year.
Habits for good oral hygiene
- Proper nutrition
- Drink plenty of water
- Limit the number of snacks you eat
- Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, including:
- whole grains
- lean sources of protein
- low-fat/fat-free dairy foods