We could go into all the statistics about age, sex, geographic location, income and education but the plain fact is that many adults aren’t familiar with the correct way to clean their teeth or what damage their diet is doing.
The Step-By-Step Guides for adults explain the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of eating, brushing, flossing and other lifestyle activities.
Brushing – How long and how often?
Teeth should be brushed twice a day for two minutes and flossed once a day. A lot of people rush their brushing (the average time spent being around 45 seconds) or skip it entirely.
Many people scrub too hard on the tooth and gum surfaces which actually causes more problems and doesn’t always get food out from between the teeth and round the gum line. People also forget to brush their tongue where a lot of bacteria can build up.
Each time we eat, the sugars in our food and drink are broken down by the bacteria in our mouths to form acid which immediately starts attacking our teeth. Half an hour after eating is when our teeth are at their weakest and most vulnerable (and, actually, brushing during that first half hour makes things worse so we need to wait if we want to brush after a meal).]
If we don’t eat anything else then our saliva goes to work to neutralise these acids and protect our teeth during the day until our next meal. But, if we continue to snack throughout the day, particularly on sweet foods and fizzy drinks, we’re constantly topping up the sugars that turn into acid so our teeth are under constant attack and saliva just can’t cope with that level of acid. Our teeth will start to erode and decay.
The bottom line on eating habits is to eat fewer sugary foods and drinks and don’t snack between meals.