Brushing Alone Is Not Enough

We spoke to Sunstar GUM oral care experts about how to get your oral health in ship-shape!

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Pandemic problems and oral health

If you put your oral care on the back burner during the pandemic, you’re not alone. Six out of 10 Canadians put off visiting the dentist this year. And, even though you’ve (hopefully) been brushing at least twice a day, that’s not enough. Brushing alone only cleans 60% of teeth surfaces. Yikes! Flossing and other interdental cleaners are key to completing the job. Time to get back on track with these reminders from Sunstar GUM oral health experts. Let’s say it together: Good oral health is a gateway to good overall health, and we all want that.

Guard your gums, reduce mouth bacteria

With many people neglecting their oral health, dentists are seeing a lot of patients with tooth discoloration, decay and gum disease, in turn weakening their immune system. It’s important to support your immune system as much as possible, especially throughout the pandemic, and that all starts with reducing the bacteria in your mouth, and with it, your risk of bacterial superinfection. Because your digestive and respiratory tracts begin in your mouth, they serve as a conduit for bacteria, infection, and inflammation to spread to the rest of the body and wreak havoc on your health.

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The oral health and whole-body health connection

Ignoring gum health has consequences beyond the mouth. Unhealthy gums and resulting inflammation can have devastating effects on your heart, lungs, and other systems in the body over time. Studies continue to show that gum health is tightly linked to overall health: heart disease, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s Disease. No wonder our dental hygienists keep pushing us to floss daily, even if we hate to hear it.

And then there’s the bad breath

When you eat, food particles get wedged into those super-tight spaces between your teeth. Because toothbrush bristles can’t reach into those tight crevasses, the bits of food left behind start to decay, Yuck! Just what you need to add to your “mask mouth,” right? That’s why daily between-teeth cleaning and tongue cleaning are so important. A good tongue cleaner can gently scrape away surface residue and reach into the tiny grooves on the tongue’s surface to dislodge bacteria and food particles – leaving you fresh and clean for those close-up, face-to-face encounters we dream of will soon replace those Zoom calls.

Heed that warning sign

Do your gums bleed easily? Are they ever swollen and tender? That’s a sign of gum disease, and it’s a warning signal to improve your oral care routine, fast. Untreated gingivitis can lead to serious gum disease called periodontitis, which causes pain when chewing, pockets between teeth (seriously!) and, ultimately, tooth loss through bone decay.

Between-teeth cleaning done right

You religiously brush twice a day but still have gingivitis? No surprise. That’s because brushing alone only covers three out of five tooth surfaces and removes only a little more than half of plaque build-up. Tight spaces attract bacteria and plaque removal requires the right tools. Did you know that adding floss and other highly effective between-teeth cleaners to your daily routine can help you remove nearly 90% of the plaque!

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Flossing is not optional — BUT traditional string floss is

Flossing helps to maintain firm, pink, healthy gums: Most problems start between the teeth and below the gumline where most toothbrush bristles don’t always reach. What’s not a must is using traditional string floss. Today, there are highly effective, super easy-to-use flossing alternatives that many people prefer. Consider a quality latex free dental Soft-Pick® for a quick, convenient option, or use interdental Proxabrush – they come in 6 convenient sizes and are an especially good choice if you have braces or large spaces because of receding gums.

A new twist takes the frustration out of flossing

So it’s time to get over your aversion to gum care. Finnicky, frustrating string floss is being replaced by new products – most notably the GUM® DUAL TECHNIQUE Flosser launched this year., This advanced yet simple tool features a unique shape for front and back teeth cleaning that lets you easily reach all of those hard-to-reach places. The twisted floss effectively removes plaque and debris between your teeth, leaving your whole mouth feeling clean and minty fresh.

Sunstar is committed to improving overall health, mouth by mouth.

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Best Health Canada
Originally Published in Best Health Canada