Survey Finds Young Women Have “Poor” Oral Health

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New Colgate research has found that nearly half (47 per cent) of surveyed young women (aged 24-35) brush their teeth once a day and, if that, admit to having “poor” oral health.

Out of the 1,007 surveyed, only 8 per cent said they had “excellent” oral health.

The survey results may explain why 22 per cent of Australian adults have gum disease while up to 23 per cent have tooth decay, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Dr Susan Cartwright herself, Colgate’s scientific affairs manager, is surprised that young women seem to be the worst dental care offenders, given their tendency to be “appearance-conscious”.

According to Cartwright, it apparently gets in the way so much that about half of women don’t get regular dental check-ups (like once or twice a year). This may come down to a perception that going to the dentist is like going to the doctor – you don’t need to go unless you have an issue.

Cartwright insists this isn’t the case, instead, it’s about preventing problems. For example, gum disease is often completely painless until it’s too late and teeth start to become loose. At this point, when teeth need to be replaced by implants, about 50 per cent of people get a recurrence of gum disease around the implant. According to her, getting implants isn’t as good as keeping the original teeth in good condition, and you can reverse gum disease in the early stages.

Prevention is always better than cure.

Here’s Cartwright’s take on the following:

Can you brush too much?

Perhaps you can. If you’re scrubbing four times a day, you could wear away the enamel. What’s really important with brushing your teeth is a soft brush. You don’t need to be scrubbing hard – just gently disturbing the plaque.

Why does food matter?

If you have a lot of acid in your diet, it weakens the structure of your tooth. Diet soft drinks are definitely acidic. Lemon tea seems healthy but quite acidic. Other factors that can weaken the teeth include gord and pregnancy, which can result in acid reflux into the mouth. Grinding also wears away the structure.

When is brushing best?

The last thing you need to do at night is to brush your teeth. If you don’t, you potentially leave the residue of whatever you have eaten on them. During the night, there’s less saliva in your mouth so there’s less protection. this is because saliva protects the teeth with its minerals, buffering them and washing away plaque. (Note: Electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque.)

To answer the question, you really NEED to do it at night, but it’s definitely BEST to do it twice a day.

Can flossing off help?

There’s debate about flossing. Research shows it doesn’t really help prevent tooth decay, but what they’re not saying is that it does help with gum disease.

Why is dental hygiene so important?

It’s not just important for oral health — it can affect other parts of your body. As a matter of fact, according to the World Oral Health Report, there are many reasons to care for your teeth:

1. Poor oral health is significantly associated with major chronic diseases.

2. Poor oral health causes disability.

3. Oral health issues and major diseases share common risk factors.

4. General health problems may cause or worsen oral health conditions.

 Learn more oral care tips from the leading dental service providers today.

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