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Girl at Dentist's OfficeWhen your dentist tells you to brush twice a day, you should listen! Oral hygiene can contribute to the overall health of nearly your whole body. Not convinced? Check out these 15 facts about oral hygiene that you may not have previously known.

  1. The first toothbrush was made in 1498 in China, with bristles from hogs, badgers and horses. Aren’t you glad toothbrushes were commercially manufactured—sans animal hair—starting in 1938?
  2. Placing a cap over your toothbrush traps moisture, which can breed bacteria. If you want it away from the toilet, let your toothbrush dry out in a drawer instead of capping it.
  3. After recovering from a cold, flu or other illness, your toothbrush can harbor microbes that can re-infect you. Better to buy a new one!
  4. Drinking sugary sodas daily can increase your chance of tooth decay, tooth loss and fillings by 62 percent. Limit your sugary beverages to three per week and drink them with a straw to prevent the sugar from sticking to your teeth.
  5. 75 to 80 percent of Americans are in some stage of periodontal gum disease, which often occurs from not brushing frequently enough.
  6. Saliva breaks down food and neutralizes acids, which can help prevent disease. But did you know that some medications reduce saliva flow? Painkillers, decongestants, antihistamines and diuretics should be used sparsely.
  7. The condition of your oral hygiene is linked to several diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Periodontitis has even been linked to premature birth.
  8. Cavities cause the most cases of tooth loss in children, while periodontal gum disease is the leading culprit for adults.
  9. Babies are not born with tooth decay bacteria, but it’s often transmitted by parents through kisses or blowing on hot food.
  10. Baby bottles filled with sugary liquids, such as milk or juice, can cause baby bottle tooth decay, which is the leading oral health concern for infants. Wash bottles thoroughly between uses.
  11. Toothpastes containing fluoride should be spit out and not be swallowed—particularly by kids—because they can cause fluoride toxicity, which affects how permanent teeth form.
  12. Crisp fruits and veggies, such as apples, celery and carrots, help free food that is stuck between teeth. One more reason for healthy snacking!
  13. Nearly 80 percent of Americans experience at least one cavity before age 17.
  14. Men are more likely to have oral cancer and other severe dental diseases than women.
  15. The best way to maintain great oral hygiene is to brush twice per day, floss daily, eat a diet rich in healthy, fresh foods, limit sugary drinks and replace your toothbrush every three months (or after an illness).

Don’t forget regular visits to your dentist. Call Sound Benefit Solutions at (925) 244-1330 for more information on San Francisco dental insurance.

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