Which hygiene claim is supported by research? The options are listed below.
A. Regular professional teeth cleaning improves dental health.
B. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste helps prevent cavities.
C. There are no benefits to handwashing.
D. Antibacterial soap prevents disease better than regular hand soap.
The Correct Answer to This Question is Option B, which is brushing with fluoride toothpaste helps prevent cavities.
Explanation on the answer
Let’s begin by saying that we can quickly eliminate options C and D as correct answers. Studies have revealed that antibacterial soap doesn’t do much more than regular soap in preventing diseases. In fact, antibacterial soap can harm our health by killing the good bacteria on our skin that we need for balance. On the other hand, handwashing has been proven to reduce the chances of getting sick.
Regarding options A and B, getting your teeth professionally cleaned does help your oral health, but it’s not absolutely necessary to do it regularly if you’re taking good care of your teeth yourself. However, research has shown that even if you follow a full teeth care routine (brushing, flossing, etc.), not using fluoride toothpaste can make you more likely to get cavities. Fluoride helps stop bacteria from causing cavities. So, the correct answer is B.
Benefits of fluoride
In the early 1900s, people found out that having the right amount of fluoride in drinking water can help reduce tooth problems. This led to lots of research about how fluoride affects oral health. Studies on fluoride in water have shown it’s safe and works well to prevent tooth issues.
We’ve learned a lot about how fluoride fights tooth decay, and this has led to making other things with fluoride to help our teeth, like salt, milk, tablets, toothpaste, gels, and varnishes. Fluoride is a natural mineral in water, soil, and air. Most water has some fluoride, but the amount can change depending on where the water comes from.
Fluoride is added to toothpaste and water because it can:
- Fix early tooth decay
- Stop cavities
- Make weak tooth enamel stronger
- Slow down the growth of bad mouth bacteria
- Keep tooth enamel strong by stopping minerals from leaving it
The fluoride in toothpaste is stronger than in water, and remember, it’s not supposed to be swallowed.
A study mentioned in Cochrane says that kids who brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least once a day have fewer cavities. This research looked at kids aged 5 to 16 and found that those who used fluoride toothpaste had fewer tooth problems after three years, even if their drinking water didn’t have fluoride. Brushing two times a day is even better.
The CDC also mention that fluoride helps lower the number and seriousness of cavities in the US. You should start brushing your child’s teeth when their first tooth comes in, usually around 6 months old. Their first dental checkup should be by age 1 (2 to 4 years old).
But, if kids use too much fluoride when their teeth are growing, it can change how their enamel looks, causing spots and pits (dental fluorosis). So, the CDC says kids can start using fluoride toothpaste at age 2. Kids under 3 should use just a little bit, like a grain of rice, and kids over 3 should use no more than a pea-sized amount (about 0.25 grams) until they’re 6 years old, by which time they’ll be able to stop themselves from swallowing it accidentally.