Parents tell their kids to brush and floss their teeth regularly, but are they following their own advice?
New data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that plenty of adults don’t brush or floss often enough. Dentists found that 91% of Americans between ages 20 and 64 have cavities and 27% have untreated tooth decay.
Cavities and tooth decay are important oral health indicators. Neglecting your oral health can lead to serious complications, including tooth loss. While two-thirds of adults younger than 40 had all their teeth, only about a third of those between 40 and 64 did.
Brushing and flossing are critical to maintaining proper oral hygiene. The American Dental Association recommends that people should brush 2x per day for two minutes each time. Flossing should be done at least once a day for 2 to 3 minutes.
The critical step most of us tend to neglect in our oral hygiene routine is flossing. Many people think, “If I’ve brushed and I can’t see it, then I’ve done my job and it’s clean.” In reality, plaque builds up in between teeth and underneath the gum line, where it can do damage.
There are also a few dietary steps people can take to protect their teeth. Avoid sipping on sugary drinks over the course of the day, and if you can’t get to a sink with a toothbrush after eating or drinking, rinse your mouth out with water or chew sugarless gum to help wash away enamel-eroding acid.
Your home healthcare routine is essential, but equally important is regular checkups with your dentist. Fortunately, ASBA has a Dental Plan that’s right for you. Get coverage for everything from routine checkups to fillings, procedures, and more. You can see any dentist you choose with even bigger savings with an In-Network provider.