News and Views

Back to search results

We care for our oral health through daily habits

Monday, September 18, 2023 | Posted in GEHA Connection Dental Network News

We care for our oral health through daily habits, such as what we choose to eat and drink and how we practice self-care. All of this effort takes time.

It takes around 10 minutes* per day to perform good oral care. This includes, brushing, interdental cleaning and water flossers and using topical fluorides such as toothpaste and rinses. While the total time varies depending on one’s needs and ability, this breaks down to approximately:

  • Two minutes brushing in the morning
  • One minute flossing
  • Two minutes brushing in the evening
  • Five minutes planning or choosing healthy food options

Now, let’s break that down over the course of a year. Ten minutes of oral care each day for 365 days is 3,650 minutes, or 60 hours. Of those 60 hours, individuals may spend an average of two or three hours per year receiving preventive care from their dental provider. That means, 95% of the time depends on what we do on our own. How we invest this time (brushing, flossing, and deciding what to eat) may result in greater oral health and wellness.

The benefit of oral health is greater than spending less for treatments. Experiencing health may translate to improved quality of life too. Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle can be supported by various social and environmental factors, such as access to nutritious foods, dental care, access to dental benefits and avenues of fitness.

A number of factors can impact a person’s level of access, but ideally with the appropriate amount of time, effort and access to oral care products, everyone has the potential to achieve improved oral health.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,