Fresh Breath VS Healthy Teeth and Gums

image for fresh breathMany people would say they want both fresh breath and healthy teeth and gums. But if they had to choose, which do you think more people would pick?

The American Academy of Periodontology  says that around 47% of Americans have some form of periodontal disease, or gum disease. Dental hygienists and the entire dental community strive to educate patients on the importance of flossing, brushing, and taking good care of their teeth. However, despite these efforts, so many Americans still have problems taking proper care of their teeth.

Americans spend over $3 billion a year on mouth rinse, but yet the majority of people do not floss or clean between their teeth on a daily basis. So, one hygienist decided if perhaps a different approach would work better to motivate people to take better care of their teeth and gums. When talking to patients about their oral health, she offered them information on how they could have fresh breath. Over 78% of the patients chose information to prevent periodontal disease to have fresh breath. And patients were surprisingly eager to get information about cleaning between the teeth and the variety of interdental tools available, when it was linked to how to have fresher breath. This hygienist was surprised at how many patients were not aware of the role that bacteria play in the mouth and how cleaning away the bacteria can freshen breath. The same things that help us have fresh breath are also what keeps our teeth and gums healthy and happy.

It turns out most people would choose fresh breath over healthy teeth and gums, but the great thing is that we do not have to choose. We can have it all! So whether you are motivated to have fresh breath or you really want healthy teeth and gums, the answer is the same…floss and brush between those teeth. And see your dentist for your regular cleaning and exam.