Teeth Care – Do Men Or Women Take Better Care Of Their Teeth?
Diets and exercise were at the top of most Americans’ lists of millennium resolutions, but according to a recent poll, men should consider adding brushing and flossing to the list this New Year’s. The online survey, conducted by the Butler GUM brand of oral care products, sought to answer the question Who takes better care of their teeth and gums, men or women? The results indicate men could use a brush up on good oral care.
Twenty percent of the men surveyed admit they never floss, compared to just 10 percent of women. The sexes were also divided in their reasons for infrequent flossing. Not enough time and forget/don’t think about it top the list of reasons offered by women. Men also cited not enough time as a major reason for not flossing, but lazy came in a close second. Both genders fall short of recommended practices, with only one-third of respondents saying they floss daily.
These results correspond with a recent poll of periodontists conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology. The online poll found 97 percent of periodontists reported their female patients practice better oral hygiene habits than males.
Although experts recommend brushing at least two times a day, another survey conducted by the American Dental Hygienists Association found that more women than men brush their teeth three times a day, while 22 percent of men brush their teeth just once a day or less.
Maria Perno, RDH, MS, former president of the ADHA and national health consultant, has witnessed the pattern of gender differences in oral care habits with her patients and in clinical studies.
Ms. Perno is currently authoring a chapter on women’s health issues for a new textbook which will focus on gender-based medicine, specifically on how sex hormones and behavioral gender differences have health-related effects on men and women.
As a hygienist, I’ve seen that men are terribly lax when it comes to proper oral care, Ms. Perno said. As a result, despite that women may be more prone to developing gum disease during certain life cycles, such as pregnancy or menopause, men still have a higher rate of gum disease.
In the Butler GUM survey, more of the female survey participants than male participants correctly identified the recommended way to brush your teeth, that is, using a circular motion along the gumline with bristles at a 45-degree angle.
The survey also shows a large discrepancy – about one minute – between the average amounts of time all respondents feel they should spend brushing their teeth vs. the amount of time they actually spend brushing. Experts recommend brushing for two to three minutes.
A majority of survey participants said they change their toothbrush every two to six months – mostly because it is worn out. But sales figures show the average consumer buys a new toothbrush only once every nine months. Some dental experts recommend changing your brush every month and after any illness.
While more than three-quarters of survey respondents correctly identified tooth loss as being associated with advanced gum disease, fewer than one in five knew that advanced gum disease has also been linked to serious conditions like heart disease, respiratory ailments, diabetes, osteoporosis and preterm, low birth weight babies. About half the people surveyed did not know that regular flossing could reverse gingivitis – an early form of gum disease.
Taking care of your teeth and gums is one of the easiest measures you can take to protect yourself from illness, yet it is one of the most overlooked and underestimated forms of disease prevention, said Ms. Perno.
The recent Surgeon General’s report Oral Health in America asserts that good oral health is essential to good overall health. The report also confirms that gum disease is a concern for all ages, and establishing good practices early is easier than repairing the damage once it has occurred.
Made by the John O. Butler Company, the Butler GUM brand of oral care products is the second most recommended and used brand by dental professionals. For more than 75 years, Butler GUM has maintained a steady commitment toward designing, producing and distributing advanced oral care products to consumers and dental professionals worldwide.
Maggie Scholz contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.teeth-whitening-smiles.com.
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