What It’s Good For!
Part 2 of a 2-part series
In our last article, we discussed a recent University of Washington scientific review that studied toothbrushing and dental caries. The study concluded that simply brushing the teeth does not prevent cavities. Fluoride in the toothpaste is required for oral hygiene to be effective against tooth decay. This report does not mean, however, that our Sacramento dental patients should just start using fluoride mouthwash, while abandoning their toothbrush.
How Teeth are Lost
There are two major factors behind tooth loss: tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay is a direct attack, damaging the enamel and exposing the sensitive nerves and pulp inside the tooth. With enough decay, the tooth is compromised and must be pulled. Gum disease is an attack on the tooth’s foundations, the roots, bone and gums that hold a tooth in place. When enough damage is done, the tooth becomes loose and it eventually falls out. Either way, a tooth is destroyed.
Even Dr. Philippe Hujoel, the leader of the University of Washington review, concluded that the toothbrush and dental floss still serve an important role in personal dental care. “Oral hygiene can be a pleasant and cost-effective way to deliver fluoride, reduce gingivitis [and] remove food impactions.” In other words, using a toothbrush and floss does prevent gum disease and it gets rid of leafy greens and other foods stuck between your teeth.
So while you may want to include fluoride mouthwash in your daily oral hygiene regimen to help prevent tooth decay in hard to reach places, you still need to brush your teeth twice daily and use dental floss at least once per day. While this activity on its own may not prevent tooth decay, if you use fluoride toothpaste it definitely plays a role in cavity prevention. And no matter what your toothpaste preferences, oral hygiene certainly arrests the progress of gum disease and helps fight bad breath.
For more information on the benefits of oral hygiene, consult the pages of our website or meet with one of our Sacramento dentists by calling 916-538-6900 or contacting us online.