Proper dental hygiene is something we have all been lectured on in the past. The importance of brushing and flossing basics have been seared into our brains, yet studies show that brushing and flossing alone may not guarantee dental health. Only professional oral care can determine what is right for your mouth.
The American Sleep Association found that up to 10% of the adult population grind their sleep at night. Aside from the erosive effects of teeth grinding on the teeth themselves, teeth clenching and nighttime grinding can lead to headaches; up to 80% of headaches occur from muscle tension such as the tension experienced by night clenching. A professor at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine has equated night clenching during sleep to be equal to 300 pounds of force on one’s teeth. Night guards could help take the pressure off of teeth and allow patients to sleep easier throughout the night.
It is estimated that 20% of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 have untreated tooth decay; this number rises to include 26% of adults between 20 and 64. Proper oral care procedures go beyond brushing and flossing: tooth brushes need to be replaced every three months; extra time should be spent brushing; one should ideally brush after every meal. Additional oral hygiene products like dental picks or water picks can help ensure that every bit of plaque and tarter are removed during every cleaning.
Gum disease, or periodontitis, affects over 75% of the American population. Poor dental hygiene contributes to gum disease, which can be both unsightly and painful for sufferers. Professional cleanings, along with oral rinses, can help treat gum disease, yet it is up to every patient to keep up on their oral hygiene to prevent gum disease from returning.