Brushing up on Proper Tooth Care

Dr. Robert Lee, a professional and scientific relations manager from P&G Oral Care, has the answers to freshen up your oral routine.  

What is the most important thing about maintaining proper oral health?

Most people don’t know that the earlier you start practicing good oral care, the more beneficial it can be. Developing good oral care habits when you’re younger can have long-term benefits, and good oral care can actually have an impact on your life. Studies have shown that students with poor oral health are three-times more likely to miss school, making establishing a healthy routine at a young age even more important.

Which innovations in oral care are you most excited about?

The biggest innovation I’ve seen recently is a unique approach to daily oral hygiene, such as the Crest Pro-Health HD 2-step system. Unlike most toothpaste, the ingredients are isolated into separate tubes to reduce plaque and gingivitis, as well as providing important cosmetic benefits. Step one contains stannous fluoride, which cleans, stripping away plaque and helping to reverse gingivitis while fighting cavities. Step two perfects with a hydrogen peroxide gel, whitening and polishing teeth by removing surface stains.

What’s one tool our readers should invest in?

An electric toothbrush. You can achieve better plaque removal and gingivitis reduction with power toothbrushes that utilize oscillating-rotating technology than with a regular manual toothbrush. This brushing action is very different from ordinary manual toothbrushes. It does the job of brushing for you, and you just need to make sure to guide the brush head to all parts of your mouth. Some even have integrated timers or are app-enabled to ensure you’re brushing long enough. Just like any toothbrush, be sure to replace your brush head regularly. Bristles wear out, so if you cannot remember the last time you changed (or it’s over 3 months), you are ready for an upgrade.

Did you know that signs of stress, addiction and serious diseases are just a few of the many things a dentist can spot during a routine examination of your mouth?

Window to well-being

Dentists are doctors of oral health. During a dental visit, your dentist is examining your teeth and gums, but they’re also looking for lumps, swellings, discolorations, ulcerations (any abnormality), as well as screening for oral cancer.

Your mouth serves as a window into potential issues elsewhere in the body, as dental health and overall health are often connected. Your mouth can reveal signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Diseases that affect the entire body may first show up through lesions or even bad breath.

Not only can signs of other problems show through your mouth; whether or not you have a healthy mouth can actually affect the rest of your body.

Embedded threats

Researchers have found that periodontitis, the advanced form of gum disease that can cause tooth loss, is associated with increased risk of health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and bacterial pneumonia.

In addition, people with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease; and the gum disease that they have is often more severe than those without diabetes.

That’s why taking care of your mouth is so important. We crunched the numbers to help you improve your oral health and overall health.


Dental health products have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, meaning the product has been independently evaluated by the ADA for safety and effectiveness. Are you using one or more of them?


The maximum amount, in teaspoons, of added sugar recommended per day for adults, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, along with a balanced diet.


Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. Busy schedule? No excuse; it’s only four minutes a day.


Clean between your teeth once a day with floss or other interdental cleaner. And visit your dentist at least once a year to maintain good oral health.