How often do you brush your teeth? How often should you brush your teeth? The American Dental Association recommends that we brush our teeth at least twice a day for a total of two minutes each time.
Think about how long you brush. Do you brush for a full two minutes? Most likely, unless you’re timing yourself, you don’t. But what if there was a shapeshifting robotic micro-swarm that could handle your brushing, flossing and rinsing in one?
No, this isn’t the makings of a sci-fi movie. The technology, developed by a multidisciplinary team at the University of Pennsylvania, could offer a new and hands-free way to perform the time-consuming but critical daily tasks of brushing and flossing your teeth.
Why Brushing Your Teeth Is Important
Brushing your teeth is important because it helps remove plaque from your mouth. Plaque is a sticky film made up of bacteria, food particles and saliva that forms on your teeth as the inside of your mouth is exposed to oxygen. If left untreated, plaque can harden into tartar, which causes tooth decay and gum disease. It’s especially important to brush after meals or snacks when your mouth is most prone to harboring plaque.
Like we said above, you should brush your teeth at least twice per day.
Why Flossing Your Teeth Is Important
Flossing your teeth is important because plaque builds up between your teeth and along your gums. When you brush your teeth, you’re only removing plaque from the tops and sides of your teeth. You can’t get rid of plaque that has built up between your teeth and under your gums without flossing.
We recommend that you floss at least once per day to remove food debris from your mouth.
What About Rinsing Your Mouth After Brushing And Flossing?
Rinsing your mouth with water after you’ve flossed will help rinse away any remaining plaque and prevent future buildups. However, you should not rinse after brushing with fluoride toothpaste as it diminishes the benefits of fluoride.
The Future Of Oral Hygiene: Robots To Help Us Brush Our Teeth
The future of oral hygiene may be closer than you think, as we mentioned above. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have created a robot that can clean your teeth while you sleep. This robot would use an ultrasonic sensor to detect plaque buildup on your teeth. Once it detects plaque, it would send out a swarm of tiny robots to attack the problem. These little robots would then dissolve the plaque using enzymes found naturally in saliva.
This system could revolutionize the way we brush our teeth. Imagine waking up every morning to teeth that were cleaned by a robot while you slept. No more worrying about forgetting to brush before bedtime!
But wait, there’s more …
This robot wouldn’t just clean your teeth. It would also floss them for you. That means no more struggling to floss your teeth properly – or remembering to do it every day.
Do We Really Need A Robot to Clean Our Teeth?
Many people don’t. But older people and those with conditions such as arthritis or a loss of dexterity may have a hard time holding a toothbrush or maneuvering floss into the spaces between their teeth. In these cases, a robot might come in handy.
Why Is Oral Health So Important?
Oral health is one of the most important parts of overall health. Poor oral health can lead to serious medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney stones, respiratory infections, periodontal diseases (gum disease) and even premature death.
Signs of Poor Health
Poor oral health can cause many symptoms, including:
Bad Breath. Bad breath develops as a result of poor dental hygiene. Bacteria in the mouth produce sulfur-containing compounds called volatile sulfur compounds (VSC). VSC are odorous gases that contribute to bad breath. They are produced during digestion and metabolism of foods containing protein, carbohydrates and fats.
Gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when the gums become red, swollen and tender. It is usually caused by bacterial infection. If left untreated, this can progress into periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease. Periodontal disease affects the tissues surrounding the roots of the teeth. It causes gum inflammation, bone loss and eventual tooth loss.
Tooth Decay. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth. It starts when sugar remains in contact with the teeth long enough for bacteria to grow.
Tooth Loss. Tooth loss is a common occurrence among adults. It can occur from trauma, decay, gum disease or periodontal disease. Tooth loss can also be caused by cancerous tumors or cysts.
Since the oral hygiene robot swarm isn’t available just yet, we recommend brushing your teeth with the next best thing: an electric toothbrush. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and be sure to brush all surfaces, not just the chewing surfaces. We also recommend that you use fluoride toothpaste to help remineralize your teeth.
Are you experiencing any of the symptoms of poor oral health? Call us today to schedule an appointment for a checkup.