While we care for our teeth every day and know it’s important to brush, floss and use mouthwash for a healthy mouth, few of us know the underlying science of why we should do this. For a lot of people, it isn’t enough to be told that something is bad for you or good for you — they want to see scientific proof, facts and figures! In the interest of backing up advice with cold, hard facts, here are some interesting dental facts and statistics that underline how critical it is to care for your teeth.
- A single can of soda contains at least 10 teaspoons of sugar – The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a maximum of 9 teaspoons of sugar for men and 6 teaspoons of sugar for women. (Source: Authority Nutrition)
- Excessive soda consumption leads to 62% more dental problems – Those who drink at least 3 glasses of soda per day, compared to people who don’t, have 62% more tooth decay, dental fillings and permanent tooth loss. (Source: Prevention Magazine)
- Approximately 78% of Americans by age 17 have had at least 1 cavity – This stresses the importance of healthy oral hygiene from an early age. (Source: American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA))
- Smoking can quadruple the risk of oral cancer – Cigarette smokers (at least a pack a day) makes you four times more likely to develop oral cancer. (Source: ADHA)
- In U.S. population, 80% of people have gum problems – Reports indicate that 80% of Americans have had some form of periodontal gum disease. (Source: ADHA)
- Time spent brushing – According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the average time a person brushes their teeth is 45 to 70 seconds a day. The recommended time for healthy teeth and mouth is at least 2 minutes, twice a day or 4 minutes per day. (Source: Dentistry iQ)
- How old is your toothbrush? – Three out of four dental patients are hanging on to their toothbrushes longer than they should be. Whenever you place a toothbrush into your mouth, it can be contaminated with bacteria microbes. These little critters can live on a toothbrush for weeks. Since toothbrushes aren’t sold in sterile containers, they might even have bacteria on them before you use them! Therefore, it is recommended that you clean your brush regularly and ditch it completely every 3 to 4 months in favor of a brand new one. (Sources: ADHA and WebMD)
- Are you missing something? – Those who don’t floss after brushing do not effectively clean 40% of their tooth surfaces. It is recommended that you brush and floss your teeth twice daily. (Source: WebMD)
Now that you’re armed with facts and statistics, you’ll know that a little bit of time spent every day caring for your mouth and teeth makes a big difference. And if you think it’s a hassle brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, consider this one final scientific fact: a giant armadillo can have up to 100 teeth! Consider yourself lucky.