Everyone knows that brushing and flossing are integral to dental health, but many people do not realize just how severe tooth and jaw problems can become. Gum disease, from mild to severe, impacts about three out of four people, and is largely preventable with proper dental care.
Although many elementary and middle schools are beginning to provide dental screening and information about dental hygiene products to their students, about one in five students should see a dentist immediately for untreated tooth problems.
The average American adult fares little better: about one in four have tooth decay that requires dental treatment, and they are either unaware of the problem or reluctant to see a dentist. And more than 60 million adults in the U.S. are facing gum disease, but are unaware of the problem.
The damage caused by tooth problems is not confined to the jaw, unfortunately. Severe headaches caused by nighttime grinding of the teeth and jaws affect about one in 10 adults, and about four out of five headaches are caused by nighttime grinding.
Oral hygiene products like flossing and brushing are essential, but many Americans are turning to night mouth guards to reduce headaches and to prevent tooth damage from tooth grinding.
Dental hygiene products can be as simple as a toothbrush and toothpaste, or can be more comprehensive teeth cleaning kits that could contain tongue cleaning products and whitening pastes. As soon as toddlers are old enough to hold a toothbrush — and as soon as they have two teeth next to each other — they can be taught to brush and floss regularly.
Children who use oral hygiene products regularly and who are introduced to brushing and flossing at an early age are more likely to brush regularly once they get older. Being comfortable with the dentist and flossing regularly are often cited as a “cavity prevention plan” by parents who want their children to grow up without cavities.