On topic with Dr. Dill:
the unexpected benefits of brushing
Brushing your teeth reduces oral bacteria, which improves your tooth and gum health by reducing plaque and preventing tooth decay. You’ll also have better breath! But reducing oral bacteria has additional health benefits:
Improved mouth health:
These are the benefits you might expect — brushing will help eliminate plaque, reduce tooth decay, prevent gum disease, and improve bad breath.
Protection from pneumonia and respiratory problems:
If you have respiratory or immune system issues, bacteria from your mouth can be pulled into your lungs and create health risks.
Lower risk for heart disease:
More research is needed to understand the connection, but certain studies link heart disease and stroke to inflammation and infection that is caused by oral bacteria.
Support a healthy pregnancy:
Periodontitis — a gum infection that can lead to tooth loss — has been associated with premature birth and low birth weight.
Reduced complications from diabetes:
High blood sugar levels among diabetics increase risk of cavities and tooth loss, and brushing helps combat both.
Brushing does far more than clean your teeth. Stick to your daily oral health routine and don’t miss appointments with your dentist to improve your oral and overall health.
What is a healthy brushing routine?
Brushing your teeth is always a benefit, but you’ll maximize the protective power of fluoride if you pay attention to and use the right technique.
- Brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time.
- Adults should use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Angle the bristles toward your gum line to reach between your gums and your teeth.
- Spit out excess toothpaste and wait 30 minutes before you rinse. This allows the protective fluoride to remain in your mouth and add minerals back to your teeth. Rinse off your toothbrush and store it upright in a clean, dry place.
- Rinse off your toothbrush and store it upright in a clean, dry place.
To make sure your toothbrush is effectively cleaning your teeth, replace it every three to four months or sooner if it begins to look frayed.
Meet Joseph Dill, DDS, Delta Dental’s Chief Dental Officer. With more than 30 years of experience in the dental field, including eight in private and public health practice and 20 in dental insurance, Dr. Dill provides expert insights and helpful advice to keep you smiling bright.
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