Oral health is an integral dimension of overall physical health and well-being. For that reason, the high rates of untreated tooth decay and other oral health problems among Americans, and the fact that millions of children and adults lack access to preventive and primary oral health care and needed dental treatment, are urgent concerns. The consequences of poor oral health access and care include complications of major chronic conditions, pain, impacts on children’s growth and social development, nutrition problems, late detection of oral cancers, loss of teeth, missed school days and work, and expensive emergency room use for preventable dental conditions. Tragically, untreated oral disease occasionally leads to death. (1)
- Change your toothbrush every three months.
- Be sure to rinse your toothbrush with hot water after every use and change it after you have an episode of flu, cold or other viral infections, otherwise you may risk re-infection.
- Brushing harder isn’t better. Vigorous brushing does more harm than good and can lead to eroded enamel, which never grows back and can cause sensitivity and other oral issues.
- Be breath-conscious at work. Americans cite bad breath as the least attractive trait a co-worker can have, so be more popular around the water cooler by brushing – and flossing — often.
- Guess what? George Washington’s famous dentures weren’t made from wood. His four pairs of custom teeth were actually crafted from gold, ivory, lead and a mixture of human, donkey and hippopotamus teeth.
- Take care of your teeth – after all, we only have two sets. On the flip side, sharks have around 40 sets of teeth in their lifetime!
- When traveling, don’t cap your toothbrush. Capping your toothbrush actually can trap moisture and encourage bacterial growth.
- Keep your toothbrush away from the toilet. It’s no myth – the airborne particles from the flush can travel up to a distance of six feet, so keep your distance to avoid dangerous bacteria. (2)
REFERENCES 1. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. (2012). Oral health in the US: Key Facts. Kaiser Commission on Key Facts.
2. Dr. Dental. (2012). 10 fun facts about oral health.