Do you consider yourself health conscious, exercising regularly and adhering to strict diets? If so, how well do you take care of your teeth? More specifically, how well do you know the rules of maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine? Sadly, when the American Dental Association (ADA) conducted a national survey regarding basic dental health principles, Americans scored an average D. This would barely be passing had the survey been an academic test. The survey questions consisted of true or false questions and covered subjects including how often you should brush, how cavities develop, and at what age you should take a child to see the dentist for the first time. As a dedicated dentist in Polk City, Iowa, Dr. Hussong reviews proper oral hygiene practices and what the study participants should have known.
By the Numbers
- 90%–answered that they should brush their teeth after every meal. While this would be ideal, it is not usually practical within our hectic daily schedules. The respondents did not know that the ADA recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day, especially before going to sleep.
- 81%–were convinced that sugar causes cavities. While not entirely false, the subjects did not know that acids that dissolve tooth enamel cause cavities. Oral bacteria produce these acids by synthesizing sugar and carbs from your meals.
- 75%–did not know when they should take a child to the dentist for the first time. The ADA recommends a first dental checkup for your child within six months after the first tooth erupts, or before your child’s first birthday.
- 65%–believe they should replace their toothbrush at least twice a year. According to the ADA, the preferred frequency is more like every three months, or twice as often as the participants believed.
- 59%–did not realize that cavity-causing bacteria are contagious. In fact, as infants, we do not possess these bacteria. Our parents pass them to us through kissing, sharing utensils, etc.
It would seem America should bone up on oral health knowledge. If you are one of our patients or readers, you may already know that brushing and flossing at least twice a day, coupled with six-month visits to Dr. Hussong’s office, can help prevent most major oral health issues. To learn more about excellent dental health, schedule a consultation with your Polk City dentist by calling Cornerstone Dental at (515) 984-6001. We serve families from Des Moines, Polk City, Ames, Ankeny, Alleman, Bondurant, Grimes, Johnston, and the surrounding communities