MEN AND WOMEN have a lot in common, but they face significantly different challenges when it comes to keeping their teeth and gums healthy. Women are more prone to certain oral health conditions than men, but men have their own disadvantages to overcome, and we’re here to offer them a few tips.
Women tend to be pretty good at daily brushing and flossing habits, whereas men struggle more with this on average: men are up to 20% less likely to brush twice a day and even less likely to replace their old toothbrushes on a regular basis. Luckily, it’s a simple problem to fix: make brushing for two full minutes a regular part of your morning and nighttime routines! And don’t forget to floss once a day as well.
Because men are more likely to drink, smoke, and chew tobacco than women are, they put themselves at higher risk of serious oral health problems like periodontitis (advanced gum disease), tooth loss, and oral cancer. By avoiding harmful habits, men can do a lot to protect their oral health, which is why we recommend minimal alcohol consumption and complete avoidance of tobacco products.
Dry mouth is a common side effect of high blood pressure and heart disease medications, and because men are more susceptible to those conditions, they are also more likely to get dry mouth. Saliva is the mouth’s first line of defense against bacteria, acid, and leftover food particles. When it runs dry, the risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and chronic bad breath becomes much higher.
Just as men are less likely to follow a good brushing and flossing regimen than women, they’re also less likely to keep up with their regular dental exams — and they’re more likely to try to tough it out if they’re experiencing toothaches or other symptoms! This strategy is neither safe nor effective for addressing dental health problems. It is not unmanly to go to the dentist, even if it’s just for a regular checkup and you’re confident you have no cavities!
The most important piece of advice we have for our male patients is this: don’t try to be a tough guy when it comes to your dental health. Minty fresh breath and regular dental appointments are not weak, they’re signs that your teeth and gums are important to you. Where you should be a tough guy is in the battle against oral bacteria, by keeping up with twice-daily brushing and daily flossing!