Practical oral hygiene facts
Dr. Alan Macdonald wants to share with you a few fun facts about oral hygiene that you may not be aware of. There are plenty of myths surrounding dental hygiene and you shouldn’t believe everything you hear on the streets. Dental health is a whole science in itself and there is a lot more to it than there appears.
If you’re someone who puts a cap on their toothbrush each time after you use it, then consider tossing that cap and letting your toothbrush air out. The commonly used practice of putting a cap on the toothbrush is actually more detrimental. The moisture entrapped in the cap favors bacterial growth.
75% of the population suffers from some stage of periodontal gum disease. Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless “plaque” on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean, which if left untreated can turn into gum disease.
People who tend to drink 3 or more glasses of soda daily have 62% more tooth decay, fillings and tooth loss than others. If you habitually drink soda or even sugary juices, you should drink them through a straw and make sure to brush your teeth right after so the sugar doesn’t have time to linger on your teeth.
The first toothbrush with bristles was manufactured in China in 1498. Bristles from hogs, horses, and badgers were used. The first commercial toothbrush was made in 1938. Thankfully, our toothbrushes are no longer made from animal hair.
Fluoridated toothpaste, when ingested habitually by kids, can lead to fluoride toxicity. You should make sure to teach your kids to spit out excess toothpaste into the sink and not to swallow it. Too much fluoride could lead to dental fluorosis, which is a cosmetic condition that affects the teeth during the first eight years of life. This is the time when most permanent teeth are being formed.
You are supposed to replace your toothbrush after you have an episode of flu, cold, or other viral infections. Notorious microbes can implant themselves on the toothbrush bristles leading to re-infection. So make sure to get a new toothbrush after you’ve been sick so you don’t re-infect yourself.
Newborn babies do not have tooth decay bacteria. Often, the bacteria are transmitted from mother to baby when she kisses the child or blows on hot food/drink before feeding the baby.
If you have any questions about oral hygiene then please give us a call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Alan Macdonald.