On topic with Dr. Dill:

The unexpected benefits of brushing

The benefits of proper brushing go beyond maintaining healthy teeth and gums, and some of those benefits may surprise you.

Benefits of brushing

  • Improved mouth health. These are the benefits you might expect — brushing will help eliminate plaque, reduce tooth decay, prevent gum disease and improve bad breath.
  • Protection from pneumonia and respiratory problems. It’s possible for bacteria from your mouth to be pulled into your lungs, which can cause pneumonia and other lung-related health risks.
  • Lower risk for heart disease. More research is needed to understand the connection, but certain studies link heart disease and stroke to inflammation and infection that oral bacteria can cause.
  • Support a healthy pregnancy. Periodontitis — a gum infection that can lead to tooth loss — has been associated with premature birth and low birth weight.
  • Reduced complications from diabetes. Higher blood sugar levels among diabetics can increase the risk of cavities and tooth loss, and brushing helps combat both.

Brushing does far more than clean your teeth. Stick to your daily oral health routine, and don’t miss appointments with your dentist to improve your oral and overall health.  

What is a healthy brushing routine?

  1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time.
  2. Adults should use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  3. Angle the bristles toward your gum line to reach between your gums and your teeth.
  4. Spit out excess toothpaste and wait 30 minutes before you rinse. This allows the protective fluoride to remain in your mouth and add minerals back to your teeth.
  5. Rinse off your toothbrush and store it upright in a clean, dry place.

To make sure your toothbrush is effectively cleaning your teeth, replace it every three to four months or sooner if it begins to look frayed.

Meet Joseph Dill, DDS, Delta Dental’s Chief Dental Officer. With more than 30 years of experience in the dental field, including eight in private and public health practice and 20 in dental insurance, Dr. Dill provides expert insights and helpful advice to keep you smiling bright.