Want to Cut Down Your Risk for Heart Problems? Try Brushing and Flossing More Often

Categories: Blog

As we look ahead to the New Year, many people consider turning over a new leaf. Perhaps you want to make some lifestyle changes and make health more of a priority.

If this is you, we’ve got just the news that’ll spring you into action.

New research suggests daily brushing and flossing can do more than keep your teeth health — it may save you from heart problems later in life.

In a new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, researchers found that tooth brushing three or more times per day was linked to a 10% lower risk of Afib and a 12% lower risk of heart failure—significant decreases!

This isn’t the first time a study has linked oral hygiene to heart health. Previous research has shown that poor oral health can lead to inflammation in the body when bacteria from your mouth and teeth are deposited in your bloodstream.

The researchers’ theory: Brushing your teeth frequently reduces bacteria in the space between your teeth and gums, so there is less of it to pass into the bloodstream and cause inflammation, as well as future heart problems.

Should You Brush More Than Twice a Day?

While the study did find that brushing three or more times per day was associated with lower cardiovascular risks —the authors say it’s too early to recommend brushing your teeth more often.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you brush twice per day. And your technique is important too. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • The type of toothbrush matters. Go for a soft-bristled brush, and make sure it’s a size and shape you can fit into all areas of your mouth with ease.
  • Replace your toothbrush regularly. Set a reminder in your phone to replace your toothbrush every three or four months—or before that if the bristles are starting to fray.
  • Use a quality toothpaste. Go for a toothpaste that’s ADA-accepted and is made with fluoride for the best results. You can search for ADA-accepted products on their website.
  • Technique is key. When brushing your teeth, place the brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. To hit the most surface area with each sweep, move the brush (gently!) back and forth across your teeth, rather than up and down. Make sure you brush all the surfaces of your tooth—outer, inner, and chewing surfaces for two minutes.
  • Don’t forget to floss. Cleaning between your teeth is vital. Don’t skip flossing, since your brush can’t reach those tight spaces! A good guideline is to floss at least once a day.

And remember: Visit our office regularly (typically every six months) for a cleaning and checkup is a wise way to keep your oral health in check—and maybe even your heart health, too!