While everyone is guilty of skipping an occasional check-up, men are more likely than women to put off going to the dentist.

  • Men replace their toothbrushes less frequently than women.
  • According to a national survey, women report brushing more often and more thoroughly than men.
  • Approximately 86% of women say they brush twice a day, compared to only 66% of men.
  • Studies show that men with a history of gum disease are more likely to develop certain kinds of cancer, such as kidney, pancreatic and blood cancers, than those with healthy gums.

Here are some ways men can be more aware about oral health:

  • Floss daily using the proper technique by inserting floss gently between teeth using a back-and-forth motion and curving floss into a C-shape against one tooth and then the other.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two full minutes, use toothpaste with fluoride, use mouthwash and floss daily.
  • Replace your toothbrush approximately every three months or after you’ve been sick.
  • Visit your dentist least twice a year for a cleaning and exam.

Some men are even more susceptible to dental problems and should take extra care in monitoring their teeth and gums. If you take medications that cause dry-mouth, or use tobacco, be especially diligent about visiting the dentist regularly, as these lifestyle habits put you at greater risk for oral health problems. Additionally, if you notice bleeding gums after brushing or flossing, you may need more regular checkups.

Men who participate in sports have a greater chance for trauma to the mouth. When playing contact sports, such as football, hockey, soccer, basketball or baseball, it is important to use a mouth guard. A mouth guard is a flexible appliance made of plastic that protects teeth during impact.

Luebke T, Driskell (2010). A group of Midwestern university students needs to improve their oral hygiene and sugar/pop consumption habits. J. Nutr Res. 30(1):27-31. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2009.11.001.