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8 Reasons Why Brushing Your Patients' Teeth Is Bomb AF

Brushing your teeth is super important! It influences all aspects of everyday life, overall health, and general satisfaction.

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1. Increases Patient Satisfaction

Via media.giphy.com

Patients who receive frequent oral are more likely to report greater satisfaction during their hospital stay. Long term, oral hygiene maintenance is associated with longer lasting teeth, as well as better appearance and functionality. According to Bidinotto et. al, prevention against indicators of poor oral hygiene such as tooth loss and decreased chewing ability resulted in a significant decline within the psychological domain. Thus, simply providing a patient with a toothbrush and other oral hygiene supplies can improve their perception of overall health and wellbeing.

Bidinotto, A. B., Santos, C. M. D., Tôrres, L. H. D. N., Sousa, M. D. L. R., Hugo, F. N., & Hilgert, J. B. (2016). Change in Quality of Life and Its Association with Oral Health and Other Factors in Community‐Dwelling Elderly Adults—A Prospective Cohort Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 64(12), 2533-2538.

2. Decreases Respiratory Infections

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Brushing your teeth can have a significant impact on respiratory diseases. In our research we found a qualitative improvement study that shows that brushing teeth every 8 hours can reduce the rate of ventilator associated by 89.5% in ICU’s. We also found a randomized control trial that showed that patients in a senior living community were three times more likely to develop pneumonia if they don’t brush their teeth. These statistics show that brushing your teeth can have a huge impact when trying to decrease respiratory infections.

Hutchins, K., Karras, G., Erwin, J., & Sullivan, K. L. (2009). Ventilator-associated pneumonia and oral care: a successful quality improvement project. American journal of infection control, 37(7), 590-597.

Bassim, C. W., Gibson, G., Ward, T., Paphides, B. M., & DeNucci, D. J. (2008). Modification of the risk of mortality from pneumonia with oral hygiene care. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 56(9), 1601-1607.

3. Decreases outpatient hospital costs

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Inadequate oral hygiene can ultimately increase a patient’s risk for respiratory diseases, and therefore increase hospitalizations and hospital costs. In our research, we found a systematic review that stated that each year, 500,000 pneumonia-related hospitalizations occur in the United States, creating outpatient hospitalization costs of $385 million, and an inpatient cost of $8.4 billion. Through the implementation of oral care techniques, we can prevent the occurrence of dangerous respiratory diseases, and decrease the overall hospital care cost.

Azarpazhooh, A., & Leake, J. L. (2006). Systematic review of the association between

`respiratory diseases and oral health. Journal of periodontology, 77(9), 1465-1482.

4. Prevents tooth loss

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Humans only get one set of permanent teeth in a lifetime. On average, 25% of people over the age of 60 years old do not still have their natural teeth, so it is important to take care of them so they are preserved as long as possible. Frequent and thorough oral care, specifically brushing your teeth, is the best way to prevent tooth loss.

Auger, S. (2014, September 01). The Importance of Oral Health for Older Adults. Retrieved April 05, 2017 from http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/oral-care-age-55-up/article/the-importance-of-oral-health-for-older-adults-0914

5. Personal Hygiene

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Studies show that, on average, maintaining proper oral care is the worst executed daily bodily activity. It is important to emphasize the correlation between keeping adequate dental habits to overall healthy personal hygiene. If oral hygiene is performed properly and often enough, a person should maintain intact mucous membranes that are pink and moist with teeth that show no signs of decay or discoloration. In order to achieve a level of optimal personal hygiene, daily oral care should consist of teeth brushing 2-3 times a day, flossing, and use of an antiseptic mouthwash.

Oral hygiene. (n.d.). Retrieved April 06, 2017, from

http://www.atitesting.com/ati_next_gen/skillsmodules/content/personal-hygiene/e

quipment/oral-hygiene.htm

6. Improves Your Self Esteem

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Adequate oral care is directly correlated with high self-esteem. Moreover, oral care has been thought to encourage talking, smiling, and facial expression. As these behaviors go hand in hand with communication among individuals, it is no wonder that teeth brushing is directly related to self-esteem. A study shows that those with positive self-concepts were likely to have had more dental visits than those who had a poor outlook on themselves. A perfect example of the influence of proper dental hygiene on overall health!

Huff, M., Kinion, E., Kendra, M. A., & Klecan, T. (2006). Self-esteem: a hidden concern in oral health. Journal of community health nursing, 23(4), 245-255.

7. It keeps you from getting cavities

Via baselinedental.com

More times than not, if you are going to the dentist you are either getting your teeth cleaned or going to fill a cavity. Many people that hate the dentist are in fact those who report many cavities. Oral hygiene is the number one protection against just that, and here are a few tips to prevent them. Brush your teeth at least 2 times a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste (for better results, try after each meal and before bedtime). In addition, flossing once a day helps get the bacteria in between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. After brushing or flossing, a great protective barrier can be added when rinsing with a fluoride-containing mouthwash which helps rinse away the plaque and bacteria left over. Other tips include having a fluorinated glass of water once a day, obtaining adequate calcium, avoiding sugary drinks or candies, switching your toothbrush every 3 months, and visiting your dentist every 6 months! With just a few easy tips, your smile will be brighter and your dental visits will be much less painful!

Preventing Tooth Decay. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2017, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-decay-prevention

8. Decreases The Chances Of Chronic Illnesses

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Oral mucosa and mouth conditions have an impact on overall health of the body and possibility of disease. Bacteria from the mouth can cause an infection in other parts of the body especially when the body is immunocompromised due to disease or medical treatments. These systemic conditions can also impact oral health. Brushing your teeth gets rid of the bacteria in your mouth leading to decreased bacteria in the rest of the body and therefore, no illness!

Foundation, D. H. (2015, May 20). Dental Health Foundation. Retrieved April 10, 2017, from http://www.dentalhealth.ie/dentalhealth/causes/general.html

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