A smile is universal. Across all cultures, it means happiness, welcomeness and attraction. But if those teeth get dirty, they might send mixed signals. Although some say a smile is only skin deep, it in fact provides a window into your body’s overall health. So, here are 10 takeaway statistics that you should know to keep both your mouth and body clean and healthy:
1. Thirty-four percent of Americans did not visit a dentist last year. Your dental professional can spot things you may not notice, remove dental plaque, provide proper cavity treatment, and at the end of the day, help to brighten your pearly whites.
2. The average American consumes a whopping 600 cans of soda annually. This sugary beverage is among the leading culprits for tooth decay. As an alternative to soda, drink water, which helps wash down harmful acids and food debris.
3. Nearly 50 percent of people say that a smile is the first thing they notice when meeting someone.
4. In a survey on dating, bad breath was found to be the No. 1 turn-off. Check out the best mouthwash for bad breath. Whether you’re meeting for lunch or at a concert, keep sugar-free gum on hand.
5. According to a 2007 French study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, roughly 6 percent of people have tonsil stones, which are clumps of mucus, dead cells and debris that get caught in the pockets of the tonsils. While many people may not know about this condition, a growing number of Americans have expressed concern in recent years over what they are and what to do with them. Tonsil stones can cause throat irritation and discomfort and can be popped out using Q-tip or oral irrigator.
6. Almost 4 out of 5 Americans have a cavity by age 17. Once secondary (adult) teeth set in, you have to wear that smile for life! So, take care of it.
7. According to a British study from DailyMail, white teeth can make you look 20 percent more attractive. The same study also found that having white teeth makes you up to 16 percent more employable. Tooth whitening options, anyone?
8. The average person buys 18 yards of floss in a year, but 182.5 yards is the amount of floss a person should buy. On a football field, you wouldn’t even get two first downs with that former number. So, how are you supposed to score?
9. In the U.S., children miss a staggering 750,000 days of school each year due to dental problems.
10. If you had to guess, how long would you say brush your teeth for? Most people spend 46 seconds brushing. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. If you’re having trouble keeping this regiment, you can hum your favorite tune during a scrubbing session or try out an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer.