Can You Prevent Gum Disease with a Smartphone App?
Preventing gum disease: Is there really an app for that?
You rely on your smartphone for just about everything, but did you know you can use it to improve your oral hygiene habits? Dozens of dental apps are available for both iOS and Android users, designed to help people avoid cavities and gum disease.
So how do these apps work? And is a periodontal disease-preventing smartphone app worth your time? It may be worth a look.
Dental Apps to Guide Daily Oral Health Care
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you brush your teeth for two minutes, two times per day. Daily flossing is also recommended. Unfortunately, many adults fail to follow these guidelines. Research shows that only 49 percent of men and 56.8 percent of women brush twice daily, and just 50.5 percent of adults floss every day.
Most of the dental apps available today are tools that encourage good daily habits. These apps typically include a two-minute timer as well as a chart or logbook to keep track of your brushing and flossing. Many also send reminders for daily oral health care, toothbrush replacement and dental appointments.
These apps are helpful, but do you think you need a little more to really help prevent gum disease?
New Technology Coaches Proper Oral Hygiene Techniques
One new dental app promises to do much more than simply time and track your oral health care habits.
Developed by Philips, this app works along with their Sonicare electric toothbrush to provide a clear understanding of your brushing habits. Do you brush too hard? Or not hard enough?
This app uses pressure sensors to give real-time information about how you brush your teeth, so that you can improve your technique.
Gum disease is a result of poor oral hygiene, but brushing too hard or too much can also cause tissue damage that can lead to receding gums, potentially increasing the risk of decay and gum disease.
The Philips app also includes mapping technology to make sure you don’t miss any spots.
Do Dental Smartphone Apps Really Reduce Gum Disease Risk?
Only a little research has been done thus far on the relationship between smartphone apps and improved oral hygiene or decreased gum disease risk. However, at least one study says yes, dental apps can be beneficial to oral health.
According to a poll published in the British Dental Journal, 88 percent of adults using one of these apps reported that the tool motivated them to brush longer.
Brushing for the right amount of time can make a significant difference to your oral health, and using a smartphone app could help make sure that you brush for a full 2 minutes every time. The tracking features also may help you develop consistent oral hygiene habits.
The Philips app has not yet been released in the United States, so it’s too soon to say if it will work as expected. But if it does, it definitely has the potential to help you reduce your risk of periodontal or gum disease.
Technology is wonderful, but nothing beats a thorough examination from an experienced oral health professional. Dr. Maxfield and Dr. Partridge of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah specialize in the treatment of injury, disease and defects of the face and oral cavity.
Contact one of our convenient Salt Lake City area offices today to schedule a consultation to discuss any potential periodontal or gum disease concerns you may have.
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