The Importance Of Prevention

brush teeth
By Dr. Christine Binert

As a doctor of dental surgery, you can bet I believe in prevention!

Study after study shows that preventing disease by ensuring good oral health is super-important for multiple reasons. For this blog, I’ve grouped them into 5 main reasons that you really do need to follow your prescribed oral hygiene protocol.

For most patients, good oral hygiene means…

• Brushing for 2 minutes twice a day (30 seconds per quadrant)

• Flossing once a day (preferably before bed) – it should take about 2 minutes

• Rinsing

• Wearing a mouthguard when playing contact sports

• Getting professional care at least once every 6 months.

1. Oral Disease Prevention

Approximately 75% of adults will experience gum disease at some point in their lives. Why is this a big deal? You will experience…

• swollen, red, tender gums

• bleeding gums • bad breath

• receding gums

• loss of supporting bone and ligament structure

• tooth loss.

2. The Mouth-Body Link Study after study has linked gum disease to these systemic diseases:

• diabetes

• pancreatic & kidney cancer

• heart disease

• stroke

• lung disease

• osteoporosis

• inflammatory diseases

• pregnancy complications including pre-mature labor

• and more!

While gum disease may not cause these other systemic diseases, statistics show that they are related, and that gum disease could play a factor in systemic inflammation, increasing in the risk for complications of disease.

3. The Social Factor

We all want to look our best and feel our best. Having a beautiful bright smile goes a long way in presenting ourselves with beauty and confidence. Here are the statistics to support this…

• Almost 50% of survey respondents chose the smile as the first thing they notice about people.

• 92.4% of us agree that an attractive smile is an important social asset.

• 74% think that an unattractive smile hurts a person’s chances of career success.

• 52% of those polled (in a Colgate-Palmolive survey) thought that having bad breath would be the worst thing that could happen on a blind date, followed by running out of money, getting food stuck between teeth (12%), and bumping into an ex.

• 94% of people in a nationwide survey of career placement professionals agreed that image and appearance are critical in the workplace.

4. Finances

Did you know that for every $1 you spend on oral care and prevention, you’ll save an estimated $8 to $50 on future emergency and restorative procedures? A pretty good investment, I’d say!

5. Injury

According to studies, athletes who wear mouthguards have 60% fewer injuries to their teeth. That’s why we make affordable, customized, well-fitting mouthguards right here at our practice.

Mouthguards should be worn when there is even the smallest chance of injury as they absorb shock to prevent fractures, provide protection to the soft tissue (lips, cheeks, tongue), and offer support where teeth may be missing.

Here’s a list of sports that carry the highest risk of dental trauma:

• basketball

• football

• hockey

• martial arts

• boxing.

To sum it up, if you don’t want to wash the dishes, you do it anyway. If you don’t want to walk the dog, you do it anyway. Same goes for oral prevention.

And to those people, I say kindly, firmly, and always with a smile … do it anyway. 🙂


Dr. Chris Binert graduated from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry, 1983 with honors. She has been a member of the Ontario Dental Association and the Canadian Dental Association since her graduation.

Dr. Binert is currently an instructor at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, and has taught there for over 25 years. She is currently the Director of the Dental Care Group.