Is Having Great Teeth Just a Matter of Luck??

dentalIn celebration of the luck o’ the Irish, who have a stereotype of not brushing their teeth, we wanted to discuss where your oral health REALLY comes from!


According to the above article, 84% of Irish who participated in the survey, report not brushing their teeth OR flossing after meals. But some of them have little to no issues…how can this be? The Luck O’ the Irish? Probably not.

Your oral health has many factors involved, homecare, heredity, availability of the proper supplies, and some other things. Let’s go through how each of these can affect your oral health.

Homecare: this is pretty simple. If you don’t take care of your teeth, they may leave you! Plaque, that white sticky stuff you can scratch off your tooth, provides a nice happy home for bacteria. Bacteria are responsible for cavities, periodontal disease, and bad breath among other things. Brushing this off at least twice daily, can help save you the heartache of the dental bill that accompanies fillings or extractions. Flossing helps get those areas in between your teeth where the toothbrush can’t possibly clean and adding an ADA Seal approved mouthwash takes you one step closer to optimal oral health!

Heredity: the statement “My parents had dentures so I will too” is not true, however, you do inherit and “catch” some things from your parents and those you share a home with. Your genetics can come into play when teeth or forming, some congenital defects can make it harder to protect your teeth. Enamel defects can make you more at risk for dental decay. But did you know that you can “catch” bad bacteria from your family/friends if you share certain things? Drinking after someone who has certain bacteria in their mouth can spread those bacteria to you. Things like blowing on hot food for your children or putting a pacifier that fell on the floor in your mouth to “clean it off” can all put them more at risk for developing dental issues. Sharing suckers, toothbrushes, or anything else that goes into your mouth can spread those harmful germs!

Availability of Proper Supplies: Everyone has a toothbrush right? Wrong…in our school program that provides dental care to local schools, we hear it often that little Billy doesn’t have a toothbrush. Luckily, we provide those for the kids who take advantage of our program. Having the proper armor or weapons to protect yourself from dental issues is key! Fluoridated water is also a weapon that some counties may not have in their water source. Community Water Fluoridation is one of the top ten advancements of modern medicine and a vital protective aid against dental decay. If you are unsure if your water has fluoride, contact your local water department.   If it does not, you can always use an over the counter fluoride rinse, and yes generics are fine as long as the active ingredient is the same.

Other things: things like trauma can affect your oral health as well. Wearing a mouth guard while taking part in sports is a great idea to help protect them from that other players forehead whacking you right in the mouth! Cancer treatments can also negatively affect your oral health. Talk to your dental professional if you are about to undergo chemo or radiation treatment so they can help you be proactive to protect those teeth!

So let’s recap…Poor Irish have a bad rap but it could be their own fault….most dental issues can be avoided with proper care and refraining from sharing things, and drinking fluoridated water or using a rinse can help aid you in keeping your smile bright and shiny for years and years to come!

You should also come see us twice a year so we can help you prevent issues later on!

Keep smiling and don’t forget to change your brush every 3 months!