“Why Do We Have More Tooth Decay Now?”
Alvin Danenberg recently wrote an article, “Why do we have more tooth decay now?” and we want to build off of it by looking deeper into the problem from a habitual standpoint and what habits lead to this increase. It is not just about now, but about tomorrow, and the days after that.
At Armor Dental, we strongly feel our generation (my age, your age, your parents, your kids) is not brushing thoroughly. Why? We are running in a million directions – working moms, grandmothers lending a hand, the elderly and those who have someone brushing their teeth for them, teenagers with new braces, young kids learning to brush. Add the extra business of long hours, endless activities and everyone running in a million directions … it feels like there is never enough time. Naturally, you try to cut corners in some places but, newsflash!! Brushing your teeth shouldn’t be one of them. Each of us is supposed to brush for TWO minutes twice a day. Do you think you already do that? Try timing yourself. Poor brushing habits lead to tooth decay which is what we are seeing today as Dr. Danenberg highlighted in his article.
What is Tooth Decay?
The American Dental Association states that tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth, due to plaque. Plaque’s stickiness captures acids, keeps them in contact with your teeth and over time your enamel breaks down due to buildup. This breakdown then leads to cavities.
How do we prevent caries? Simply, proper brushing. The larger issue we have today is that very few people understand what proper brushing entails – time and focus. We as a generation are in a rush to brush, often doing a poor job of eliminating plaque. Another issue is that when we brush, we are often preoccupied, not focusing on brushing each tooth and missing tough to see areas.
Do you hold your phone while you brush? That could be your first problem. If you are looking at your phone, you are not looking at your teeth. Visibility is key when brushing to assure you are reaching each molar and all of the areas in your mouth that are more susceptible to cavities. This is where Mouth-Mate comes into play.
There are Tools to Help You
Mouth-Mate is an at-home retraction tool that enables you to brush thoroughly. You can use Mouth-Mate in your non-dominant hand to open your mouth wider and assure that you are brushing every tooth, especially those that are “on watch” for cavities. This is also great when brushing your little ones’ teeth because you can see farther into their mouth!
We are not only looking at trends in tooth decay but looking how to prevent it effectively and efficiently. No one likes a surprise at the dentist’s office!