Wellness Tips | 07 March, 2022

The #IWD22 Guide to Good Oral Health

International Women’s Day is our time to come together to celebrate women’s achievements while doing our best to break the bias by forging for a gender equal world. As a part of this female focus we’re taking a look at women’s oral health with Lead Hygienist from Maven Dental Robina, Sarah Cash.

The obvious differences between men and women are extensive however, you may be surprised to hear oral health is one of them! After all, both men and women have teeth, gums, and a tongue – so, what’s the difference?

We spoke to Lead Hygienist at Maven Dental Robina, Sarah Cash, about women specific dental health concerns, and the best steps and precautions to take to maintain a beautiful smile.

Who is better at taking care of their teeth: Men or Women?

As we all know, oral health regime discipline is incredibly important if you wish to maintain a beautiful smile. Ladies win the battle of the genders in this department as statistics indicate that women are far more compliant with their daily, oral health care routine at home.

In addition to this, men experience more dental issues as women tend to be more proactive when it comes to accepting treatment and scheduling regular check-ups with their dentist. This in turn assists in preventing complex oral health conditions in their tracks.

This may come as no secret as Sarah shares that adults over 15 who rated their oral as hygiene as poor were more often men (25%) than women, (23%).

Furthermore, studies found that gum disease (gingivitis) is more prevalent in males (35%) compared to females (23%).

What are the key observations for women when it comes to their oral health?

There are a few dental specific, key watch outs for women to keep an eye out for. Many of which stem from hormonal changes that occur throughout a woman’s life that can have a negative impact on dental health if a good oral health routine is not maintained. These stages include puberty, monthly menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause. Dental issues that can occur include:

Can health trends potentially be damaging to oral health?

We all want the best for our oral health! When it comes to health trends, women are often the first to jump on the bandwagon. Some recent health fads have been sneaky enough to trick us into thinking we’re promoting good oral health, however; Sarah has highlighted two recent trends that can be harmful to your teeth.

Charcoal Toothpaste: Charcoal may have become a trendy ingredient for beauty products however, it does not contain fluoride to keep your tooth enamel strong and is far too abrasive for everyday use.

Lemon Water: Although lemon water can have beneficial effects on other aspects of your general health, it’s bad news when it comes to your oral health. Lemons, like any other citrus fruit, are acidic and can cause serious enamel erosion when consumed daily.

 If you consume lemon water daily, Sarah suggests:

  • Using a straw
  • Rinsing your mouth with regular water afterwards
  • Limiting the amount you drink

Before signing yourself up to any health trends, it is recommended to consult with your dentist first!

Two-minute test to check healthy teeth

Despite women taking better care of their teeth and gums, there are many factors that work against their favor steering them towards dental issues such as gum disease and bone loss.

We’ve compiled a series of quick questions to help you identify any warning signs when it comes to the status of your oral health.

Head to the mirror (try one in the bathroom which tends to have the best lighting!) and have a good look inside your mouth. Think about your oral health routine and if you answer ‘YES’ to any of these questions, it’s time to make an appointment with your local Maven Dental dentist.

  1. Do you have toothache that keeps you awake at night?
  2. Do your gums bleed when you brush?
  3. Is your mouth drier than it used to be?
  4. Have you noticed discoloration of your gums or teeth recently?
  5. Do you wake up with a sore jaw/mouth or aching teeth?
  6. Have you noticed the smell of your breath getting worse/changing?
  7. Do your gums appear to be receding?
  8. Do you experience any pain when you eat or bite down?
  9. Are you experiencing any sensitivity to hot or cold food?
  10. Does your jaw ‘click’ when you eat or talk?

Sarah’s guide to maintaining top oral health year-round

No matter your gender, maintaining a thorough dental health routine is important. To best avoid any oral conditions that could potentially impact your overall wellbeing, Sarah is encouraging all women to maintain a strict routine at home.

  • Ensure you brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste
  • Clean between your teeth at least once a day using interdental brushes or floss
  • Visit your dentist regularly!

Don’t forget the key to managing unwanted oral health conditions dental conditions is to recognise them early so that they are easier to treat!