Everyone knows that brushing is essential for tooth and gum health, but one out of five teens does not know about their cavities or gum problems. In fact, about one-quarter of all adults have not treated their tooth decay and approximately double that number are suffering from gum disease, often untreated.
Thankfully, many schools are channeling their students into early-intervention dental programs, complete with free sealants that are proving to be very effective against cavities. The proper use of dental sealants at an early age can knock out over half of childhood cavities, and parents are applauding.
Flossing at an early age can also help prevent dental problems: experts recommend that as soon as a child has more than one tooth, the parents should initiate a program of twice-yearly preventative dental care. Young children may resist a regular flossing routine, but kid-friendly floss picks in bright colors can help naysayers adhere to a flossing regimen.
Many Americans also suffer from tooth problems that appear as tension headaches. Grinding the teeth and clenching the jaw can cause unwelcome migraines and neck pains: many people choose to invest in dental guards, which can be sanitized between uses like other oral hygiene products.
Dental guards open and relax the jaw at night, and act as a barrier to teeth grinding. According to one dental expert, grinding and clenching puts over 250 pounds of force on sensitive, sometimes delicate teeth. Chipped teeth, broken teeth, and severe jaw pain can result from nightly grinding.
About one out of 10 adults grind their teeth while sleeping. Possible causes could be stress, habit, overly deep dreaming, and habitual jaw tension. Molars are more commonly affected by nightly jaw clenching and tooth grinding, and if the habit is not broken, tooth loss and pain could result.
Initiating a nightly routine of brushing before bed and in the morning before school, using floss as a way to get teeth thoroughly clean, and using a dental guard if tooth grinding is a problem are all recommended for young people to prevent future tooth decay. For adults with grinding or clenching habits, dental guards may prevent tooth damage and chronic pain.