Healthy Living: Dental health and hygiene
According to the CDC, five percent of people ages 20 to 64 have no teeth. Marcie Fraser has more on what you need to know to keep your permanent teeth…permanent.
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According to the CDC, 25 percent of people have cavities in their permanent teeth, and they are left untreated. But with proper hygiene, that can be prevented.
Some people, no matter who many times a day they brush, still get cavities. Cavities have a strong genetic link. A person’s oral chemistry and the amount of saliva put your teeth at risk.
Proper dental health begins with brushing at least twice a day with a soft bristle tooth brush. Otherwise, you could do some damage.
"It's not necessary to use a hard bristle because you are trying to remove a bio film, a thin film of plaque in the mouth, it's a bacteria film and what you are trying to do is clean those areas really well without causing damage to gum line or tooth," said Dr. Christian Mathiesen, dentist.
Flossing every day is a must, and replace your tooth brush every three months, even if it doesn't look worn. And if you are pregnant, the hormones can cause problems.
"If a women who is pregnant isn't careful with oral hygiene, there is a greater chance of them having pregnancy gingivitis," said Dr. Mathiesen.
Unfortunately, fillings don't last forever. After 20 years or so, they may need to go.
"They may not be sealing the teeth anymore, which means decay is getting into the tooth and in the margins in between the restoration so very often by replacing the restoration you can conserve tooth structure and help maintain the integrity of the tooth," said Dr. Mathiesen.
If you are noticing as you are getting older that you are getting more cavities, that is to be expected. Often times, you are on medication that reduces the saliva production, increasing your risk of cavities.
You can protect your teeth by using fluoride rinses.
"We sometimes prescribe fluoride paste that has much higher content of fluoride than a regular tooth paste does, it helps to slow down the decay process,” said Dr. Mathiesen.