Prevent Tooth Loss With Three Easy Steps
A childs’ toothless grin may be adorable, but the look does not carry-over into adult hood. A majority of adults believe that a smile is an important attribute and most cases of adult missing teeth can be avoided by individuals following a simple three step process involving good oral hygiene and preventative dentistry.
Results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted in 2004 have indicated that around 5 percent of all adults aged 20 to 64 have no teeth in their smile. According the Centers for Disease control and Prevention, 25 percent of America’s seniors (over age 65) have lost all of their teeth. While some of those statistics can be attributed to dental emergencies such as trauma, the largest culprit of the situation is general dental neglect. Fortunately, citizens who want to avoid becoming a sad statistic can embark on a dental health journey and take control of their smile destiny now.
Step 1: Tooth Brushing
Since childhood, most Americans have been blasted with a variety of oral health issues including the importance of brushing teeth twice a day in order to reduce levels of dental plaque and subsequently tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. As a matter of fact, the toothbrush has been voted the most important inventions ever (http://articles.cnn.com/2003-01-22/tech/toothbrush.king_1_lowly-toothbrush-merton-flemings-great-inventions?_s=PM:TECH). Despite how high-esteem the device is viewed and the dental care messages proliferating the airwaves, many people scrimp on the time required or skip the tooth brushing process entirely.
The Academy of General dentistry reports that the average person only brushes for 45 to 70 seconds a day, far below the recommended time of two full minutes. According to a study conducted by a recognized UK dental health organization conducted a study of dental care 33 percent of adults admitted to not brushing their teeth for the full recommended time period.
Individuals who commit to the twice daily oral care practice and brush teeth for a full two minutes per session will reduce their plaque levels by 25 percent (http://www.realage.com/check-your-health/oral-health-care-center/the-easiest-way-to-healthy-mouth). Dental plaque is the main culprit behind adult tooth loss as when left unchecked it can lead to compounded dental problems.
Step 2: Flossing
Admittedly, dragging a thin thread through teeth to remove harmful dental plaque is not a fun task and some studies have indicated that 73 of the American population would rather go grocery shopping than floss. Those who actually follow that philosophy are doing themselves a grave injustice, as skipping that step will leave 40 percent of all dental surfaces untouched during the plaque removal process. Some equate skipping flossing to not washing 35 percent of one’s body during a daily shower, yuck!
According to television’s Dr. Oz, skipping flossing will shorten a total life span by six years as dental plaque as been known to contribute to heart disease. The process will also increase the odds of adult tooth loss as over time that dental plaque can fester between teeth it can harden and convert to stubborn tartar and cause tooth decay, gum disease and ultimately tooth loss.
Step 3: Professional Dental Care
If everyone conducted their due diligence in regards to their daily oral hygiene, no one would choose to be a professional dentist for fear of lack of business. Instead the opposite is true and individuals must include regular dental exams and dental office visits into their oral care regime or risk tooth loss down the line.
Individuals who opt to see a dentist twice a year can expect the visit to be twofold involving a professional cleaning from a dental hygienist as well as an exam by a qualified dentist. During the cleaning portion of the visit, a dental hygienist will work diligently to remove dental plaque, dental tartar and a tooth polishing to prevent future dental problems from occurring. A dentist will then examine teeth to check for signs of tooth erosion, gum disease and other factors that if left unchecked will increase the odds of tooth loss down the line.