The world is filled with close to seven billion people and countless smiles filled with teeth. Each country has their own set of rules and laws to be observed but despite these differences there is one phenomenon that connects all humans, the failure to brush teeth correctly.
Throughout human history dental health has been a hot topic of conversation. In ancient Greece, scholars like Aristotle and Hippocrates discussed malocclusion and how gentle force could be applied to gradually shift teeth. In contemporary times dentists and other medical experts are figuring ways to improve dental health without the aid of a dental drill. Despite all the great advancements regarding dentistry, practicing oral hygiene is still the best way to lower levels of dental plaque for oral health, but sadly most people are not doing the job well.
Sweden is known for being the homeland for pop-group Abba, furniture line Ikea and for its citizens having the longest average life expectancy (80.51 years in 2006) of any other European country. In regards to the latter, the Swedish could even potentially live longer if only they brushed their teeth properly, but research has indicated that nine out of ten of them are not doing the job correctly.
Two studies conducted by the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg have shown the truth regarding the nasty side of Sweden's oral hygiene behaviors. Researchers analyzed the brushing behaviors of 2013 Swedes representing a variety of demographics (aged 15-16, 31-35, 60-65 and 76-80). The clinicians focused on topics including daily brushing occurrences, time spent on the task, if fluoride toothpaste was used, how much toothpaste per session and how much water was used during and after the task (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/245477.php).
Based on the data, it was found that only one in 10 Swedes brushed their teeth properly. According to Pia Gabre, one of the topic investigators "Swedes generally do brush their teeth, but mostly because of social norms and to feel fresh rather than to prevent tooth decay," (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/245477.php).
There was a time when England was home to the the largest and most influential city in the world (London). While that is no longer the case the country is home to the world's largest financial center and home to the world's oldest zoo. It is also home to millions of individuals who are not dedicating enough time to their oral hygiene routines.
A study from England that suggested that one in three UK adults fail to brush their teeth for the proper amount of time as they are too busy to get to the task. The findings came from a recognized UK dental health organization that conducted a study of the dental care behaviors in 1,000 adults. A third of group participants admitted to not brushing their teeth for a complete two minutes, the recommended time suggested by a majority of dental care experts.
Instead, those few seconds were allotted to tasks deemed more important including childcare, phone calls and rushing to get out of their front door. Despite the fact that the individuals were lax in their dental hygiene regime, they reported that they were handling of the task well.
Brushing at least twice a day is an essential behavior to ward of dental problems including tooth decay, gum disease and cavities. The oral hygiene behavior will safely lower levels of dental plaque, "...the sticky invisible film that accumulates on your teeth," and that releases a tooth enamel eroding acid as a by-product (1-800-DENTIST.
The right way to brush teeth includes:
- Brushing sessions should last a total of 2 minutes, 30 seconds for each quadrant.
- Electric toothbrushes can help individuals brush more effectively.
- Soft bristled toothbrushes are best.
- Brush in a gentle, circular motion.
- Use a 45-degree angle to make sure you are scrubbing the area around your gum line.
- All toothpaste used should have some time of cavity protection ingredient; fluoride is the number one recommendation but individuals concerned about that compound may prefer using a toothpaste with xynitol.
- Toothpaste amount used should be no bigger than the size of a dime.
- Flossing once a day (preferably after brushing teeth at end of day) will put more muscle behind any tooth brushing efforts.
No matter how dedicated an individual may be to practicing oral hygiene, they are encouraged to seek regular dental care from a professional dentist. If you are looking for a great dentist, 1-800-DENTIST is here to help as we have done all the research and screening to ensure you get the quality dental care you deserve.