Oral hygiene is important for both men and women

Oral hygiene is important for both men and womenWhether you are male or female, good oral hygiene is equally important.

However, there are certain facts and statistics that show that men and women face different challenges in maintaining optimal oral health.

Below are some tips for both men and women to ensure continued, good oral health:

Men: The single most danger to men having poor oral health is their own attitudes. They are more lackadaisical in their brushing habits, brushing less than women and will not visit the dentist on a regular basis, but only if it’s an emergency. A 2003 American Dental Association survey also states that men are less likely to brush regularly, let alone every meal.

Besides an attitude adjustment, men need to be more diligent in brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once. And if you play sports, be sure to wear a mouth guard to avoid injuries to the mouth.

Women: Throughout their lifetimes, women are going through hormonal changes that can affect their oral health. Below are some facts to help you navigate what’s normal and what to expect at each hormonal stage

Puberty: During puberty, there is an increase in female hormones that can cause increased blood flow to the gums and change the way the gum tissue reacts to plaque. This causes the gums to become more red, swollen, tender and more likely to bleed during brushing.

Menstruation: During this time, hormonal changes can happen causing swollen gums, salivary glands, canker sores or bleeding gums. These symptoms usually occur a day or two before your period and will clear up shortly after it has started.

Pregnancy: Hormone levels change during pregnancy and can cause gingivitis any time from the second to eighth month. This means if you’re pregnant, get more frequent cleanings starting in your second trimester

Menopause: During this time, many hormones we need for optimal health become depleted and can also greatly affect good oral health. You may experience heightened hot and cold sensitivities, dry mouth due to medications or decreased salivary flow. Ask your dentist and doctor how you can minimize these conditions