How to get that healthy white smile

Brushing for good oral hygiene

The ongoing health of our teeth and gums could be linked to the health of our heart. Which is why some innovative thinking from Philips that's specifically focused on how to improve dental care has had such a profound effect on people, no matter their age or geographic location.

Everyone knows that brushing teeth regularly is essential for good oral hygiene, but sometimes to truly improve people's lives, we need a helping hand from technology. Michael Noack, Professor in Dental Care and Periodontology at the University of Cologne, states that the applied technology of the revolutionary Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush protects gums and removes plaque far better than regular toothbrushes. The difference between the two is obvious, he says.

My personal experience is that patients who use Philips Sonicare have an easier time removing biofilm plaque".

 

Michael Noack

Professor in Dental Care and Periodontology, University of Cologne

First developed in the 1980s and continuously perfected since, the Sonicare electric toothbrush is designed to allow people to take care of their personal dental care. It’s the very embodiment of the sort of meaningful, impactful innovations that Philips has become synonymous with. This is a simply designed clever innovation that really makes a difference to our health.

70%

increase in risk of developing heart disease for those with poor oral hygiene compared to those who brush their teeth twice a day.

 

Citation: UCL Epidemiology and Public Health

How to get that electric smile

High-tech electric toothbrush that gets to the heart of health

Brush now and reap the rewards years later

The best innovations have always been meaningful. For instance, it is known that the use of innovative pastes to keep teeth white and gums clean goes back at least 7000 years. Today the importance of oral hygiene for our personal benefit is undisputed with daily brushing and interdental cleaning firmly established as the cornerstones of good periodontal health. The possible connections between oral health and systemic health have been suspected for many years and a number of recent studies have concluded that oral disease may negatively affect systemic health in three distinct ways: through inhalation of bacteria and cytokines, through bacteria associated with gum disease entering the body via the circulatory system and through inflammation associated with periodontal disease.
But healthcare agencies and others interested in promoting better oral healthcare still face one huge challenge: it is never easy to persuade people, especially young people, to engage consistently and thoroughly in managing their periodontal health for the long term.
So the real innovation challenges, especially for oral-care equipment manufacturers, are how to put life-changing tools that will provide realisable health benefits into the hands of the consumer, and then how to ensure they use them regularly through applied technology.
Flossing, for example, has been proven to have beneficial effects in relation to gingivitis, tooth decay and bad breath. But when undertaken by people in normal conditions, flossing frequently does not deliver the benefits that can be demonstrated when undertaken in professional conditions by a dental hygienist.

It's important, through evidence-based information, to find ways of lowering the hurdle for the consumer to access the benefit when they are in control. For example, when seeking to identify an effective and efficient alternative to traditional dental floss and interdental brushes, Philips found, through its research, that people think flossing is too difficult, too time-consuming and they don't remember to do it.


However, its R&D teams also found that jets of water are associated in consumers' minds with freshness. Further research and much engineering innovation were required to produce a completely new handheld device, the Philips Sonicare AirFloss, which delivers a burst of pulsed water droplets at a speed of 45 mph to effectively clean between teeth — studies have shown that it removes up to five times more plaque than manual brushing alone. This is the type of product required to meet current trends, to provide personal benefit in periodontal health through the smart use of technology. 

Despite the improvement in oral healthcare over the past 10 to 15 years, particularly in developed countries, the latest data suggests that this positive trend in young people's oral health is beginning to be reversed. That is likely due, at least in part, to dietary changes. The increase in consumption of sugary drinks, which are particularly aggressive towards tooth enamel, represents a new cause of concern.

 

Citation: Brush now, win later — Philips/WSJ media partnership, 2013

Children should have their first dental examination no earlier than age 5?

False. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child visit a dentist for a first check-up by age 1. This is in line with the recommendation of comparable dental or paediatric organisations globally. Citation: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

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