The most common disease in the United States is periodontal disease, and 80 percent of Americans suffer from gum related diseases. Gingivitis is the most common form of periodontal disease, and nearly 20 percent of adults between the ages of 55 and 75 suffer from severe gingivitis. However, almost all tooth decay and gum disease can be attributed to one cause, and that is poor dental hygiene habits.
Some folks seem to think that brushing three times a day, and maybe even flossing once or twice, is enough to avoid cavities and gingivitis. But the fact is, even if you have regular dental checkups, floss daily, and brush after every meal, if you do not know how to brush teeth correctly, tooth decay can, and will, occur.
According to the American Dental Association, the best way to brush teeth begins with a soft bristled tooth brush. Tooth brushes with firm bristles can actually harm your teeth, and will even wear away tooth enamel with extended use. The ADA also recommends that the head of the tooth brush should be of a size that allows you to reach every section of your mouth. Too often, people choose toothbrushes that are too large to reach their upper back teeth.
The American Dental Association states that the correct way to brush teeth requires a gentle, back and forth motion, which is no wider than a single tooth. This ensures that each tooth receives ample attention, and, thus, it is much more efficient technique than brushing with wide, haphazard strokes. Cleaning the inside surfaces of the incisors is a little tricky, and requires a firm vertical motion. Since this is the area that is most widely neglected, especial care should taken.
While there is no rule for how long brush teeth, tooth brushing should be sufficiently long enough to clean every area of each tooth, as well as the gums and the tongue. Interestingly, the American dental association now recommends that people brush two times a day rather than three. This is because over brushing can actually have an adverse effect by wearing away tooth enamel.
If people would spend just six minutes each day cleaning their teeth, they could cut their risks for tooth decay by 75 to 80 percent. And with regular dental checkups and a low sugar diet, the risk for tooth decay can be reduced by 90 to 95 percent. For more information on other ways to improve your dental health, the American Dental Association website is the most reliable resource available.