Yes and no.
In reality, your tooth health is based on a combination of two factors: your environment and your genes. Your environment affects about 40% of your tooth health. This can include your diet, smoking habits, dental hygiene, and even your overall access to dental health care.
Having an unbalanced diet, filled with too many sweets, can damage your teeth. In your mouth, there are colonies of bacteria nestled upon your tongue, teeth, and gums. When you eat sweets but don’t brush properly, you are unknowingly feeding those bacteria. That puts you at a greater risk for cavities!
Did you know that smokers have a much higher likelihood of losing their teeth? When you smoke, you harm your body’s immune system. When your immune system becomes weakened, it isn’t as capable of fighting off infections caused by gum disease. This can eventually lead to you losing your teeth.
According to the State of Oral Health in Canada report, published by the Canadian Dental Association, 27% of Canadians do not brush twice or more a day, and 72% don’t floss five times a week.
Brushing and flossing are essential for good dental hygiene. They help to eliminate plaque and lower your chances of developing cavities. It’s not just about learning how to brush properly either. You might not have the right toothbrush for your mouth.
Access to Dental Healthcare
Approximately 32% of Canadians don’t have dental insurance; meaning, their access to dental healthcare is much lower than the rest of the population.
Groups that are particularly vulnerable due to lack of access to healthcare include children, seniors, indigenous peoples, new refugees, people with special needs, and lower-income people. This, understandably, can lead to cavities and more severe dental issues.
Your genes may affect about 60% of your tooth health. In two papers published in the Journal of Dental Research and PLOS One, respectively, it was found that people with certain variations of particular genes had a higher likelihood of developing gum disease later in life. Another paper, however, found that though children inherit mouth bacteria from their parents, these bacteria change as they grow up. This puts more weight on the idea that tooth problems are mostly an issue of your environment.
In any case, what the science can agree on is that it’s never a bad idea to visit a dentist for a cleaning. Interested in taking charge of your tooth health? Find out more about our dental services today by contacting us or giving us a call at 905-434-5500.
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