June is Men’s Health Month, and Father’s Day is smack dab in the middle of this month. It’s the perfect time to talks about dads and their oral health. Statistically, dads and men in general are less likely to take care of their oral health, but it’s so important that they do. Men’s oral health can affect their overall health. This Men’s Health Month let’s talk about why and how men should take better care of their oral health.
Do Men Really Have Worse Oral Health Than Women?
In general, yes. Men are less likely to brush their teeth at least twice a day than women are, and more likely to have untreated tooth decay. Women typically are more proactive when it comes to maintaining their oral health. They are more likely to receive dental checkups twice a year and follow any treatment recommended at those checkups. The exact cause is unknown, but one thing is clear: men need to step it up and take better care of their teeth and gums.
Why Should Men Take Care of Their Oral Health?
By not maintaining proper oral health, you can put yourself more at risk for periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Signs of gum disease include bleeding or tender gums, loose teeth, and persistent bad breath. Some circumstances require extra vigilance in taking care of your oral health, such as:
- Taking certain medications, like antidepressants or heart or blood pressure medication. Medications like these can cause dry mouth, a condition where the mouth does not produce enough saliva. This increases your risk of decay and gum disease because saliva washes away food particles that, if left behind, can result in cavities. Increasing your water intake and chewing sugarless gum can help stimulate the flow of saliva.
- Smoking or chewing tobacco. Using tobacco products greatly increases your risk for not only gum disease, but cancer of the mouth and throat as well. If you’re having trouble quitting, your dentist has resources that can help you quit and save your oral health.
- Playing sports. While sports are a great way to exercise, they increase your risk of trauma to your mouth and teeth. When playing contact sports, be sure to wear a mouthguard. Visit your dentist to get a custom-made mouthguard that will deliver the best level of protection.
How Can Men Take Better Care of Their Oral Health?
Following a few simple processes can significantly decrease your likelihood of contracting gum disease or other oral problems. These processes include:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day. Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush for best results.
- Replacing your toothbrush. Get a new toothbrush every three months, or immediately after you’ve been sick.
- Flossing daily. Flossing can prevent plaque buildup between the teeth that cause gum disease.
- Visiting your dentist. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help detect problems in your teeth and treat them early.
This June, celebrate not only Father’s Day, but men’s Health Month as well. Be more proactive when it comes to taking care of yourself. Do it not just for you, but for your family too.
About the Practice
Ephrata Family Dentistry has been dedicated to providing extensive and welcoming dental care in Ephrata, PA for more than sixty years. Drs. Sean Moriarty, Justin Ngo, and Liam Register work together to ensure the most comfortable environment for their patients to make it easier to foster long-lasting relationships. To learn more about how they can help you maintain your oral health, click here or call (717)-733-1088.