Preventive Care Tips
It’s pretty obvious that your teeth are important both for your personal health and for your physical appearance. Healthy, shining white, brilliant teeth are a very attractive physical feature that allows your personality to shine through in a dazzling smile. Modern techniques allow dentists to treat all manner of dental ailments; however, preventative care is one of the best ways to minimize problems and ensure you have a healthy and beautiful smile for years to come. Here are several tips to help you preserve and enhance your beautiful teeth.
The 8 Best Preventative Care Tips
It is always easier, less painful, and more cost-effective to prevent a dental issue than it is to repair one. Most of the preventative care tips for your teeth are consistent with other good health practices. However, teeth also require specialized daily care to ensure they stay clean, healthy, and beautiful. Your teeth are very resilient, and it is never too late to adopt a program of good preventative care and dental maintenance. If you follow these preventative care tips, you improve your chances of having healthy teeth for life.
1. Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth is the easiest way to ensure your teeth remain healthy and beautiful. Brushing removes food particles and bacteria that can lead to plaque and tooth decay. You should talk to your dentist or hygienist about proper brushing technique. Overly aggressive brushing with a stiff-bristled brush can lead to gum recession and other dental issues. Electric toothbrushes are great options for most individuals and can help improve brushing technique and effectiveness. You should brush at least twice a day to get the best advantage from brushing.
2. Floss Daily
Flossing helps to remove the food matter and bacteria between teeth and below the gumline, where brushing cannot reach. It is important to remove in order to prevent the build-up of plaque and calculus that can lead to periodontal disease. Discuss the correct floss choice for your teeth with your dentist or hygienist. To do a thorough job, wrap the floss in a “c” shape around each tooth and gently move the floss up and down from base to tip 2-3 times.
A common complaint from infrequent flossers, is that flossing makes their gums bleed. This can be expected in the beginning and indicates unhealthy gums. The bleeding should stop with a couple weeks of regular flossing.
3. Stay Hydrated
Your dental health is connected to your overall wellness, and proper hydration is a fundamental component of staying healthy. Consider the stress you put on your automobile when you run the motor when the vehicle is low on oil. You place your body under similar stress when you force it to perform when it is low on water. Gum dehydration and dry mouth increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Avoiding excessive alcohol use is one way to help prevent the kind of dehydration that can lead to dental issues. A healthy amount of saliva is one defense your mouth uses to protect your teeth. Saliva washes away food particles, and in a dry mouth, those particles are able to stay in place and increase the likelihood of plaque accumulation. In the event your medications are causing dry mouth, saliva replacement rinses and gels like Biotene combined with meticulous oral hygiene are effective tools to maintain oral health.
4. Be Careful What You Bite
Your teeth are made of very hard and durable enamel, yet you must still protect your enamel, so it does not chip or crack. Always be careful when you eat things like popcorn, which might have hard kernels hidden from view. Kernels can cause severe and highly painful damage to your teeth if you inadvertently bite them with force. Also, do not use your teeth to open metal items, or bite labels off of clothing. Your teeth are strong, but it is always possible to chip or damage your teeth if you pressure them with a hard surface.
Always consider the long-term effects of how you use your teeth. Be mindful of what you eat and remember to be mindful of bones, kernels, or any other hard element that might be hidden in your food. The pain associated with a chipped tooth, and the cost of the repair are much worse than the inconvenience of looking for a pair of scissors or a bottle opener.
5. Regular Professional Cleanings
Even with regular brushing, flossing, and a commitment to your overall health, some calculus will still develop on your teeth over a period of several months. Your dental health professional will be able to use advanced techniques and equipment to give your teeth a superior cleaning. They can also apply advanced fluoride treatments, which will harden and strengthen your teeth.
At your routine visits, your dentist can use x-rays to find structural or decay problems that might not be visible to the naked eye. The earlier your dental health professional can identify problem areas, the easier it is to make corrections before they develop into serious health concerns.
Early detection and treatment of cavities minimizes the amount of tooth structure effected and can reduce the chance of complications. By scheduling professional cleanings every six months, you can help to keep your teeth clean and healthy.
6. Protect Your Teeth During Sports
Practicing sports is a great way to ensure your overall health. Physical activity increases blood flow, improves muscle mass, and helps remove toxins. However, some sports contain an inherent risk of hard impacts that could be damaging to your teeth. Practitioners of boxing, mixed martial arts, hockey and rugby players often wear mouth guards to protect their teeth. You should even consider mouth guards if you get your exercise from pick-up basketball games where swinging elbows have been known to damage or dislodge teeth. Sports guards can also reduce the risk of a concussion should a blow to the jaw occur.
No matter what sport you practice, always take a few moments to research potential risks to your teeth and whether you can wear protective gear to minimize the risk of damage to your teeth.
7. Stress and Grinding
Stress and frustration can cause people to grind their teeth without their knowledge. Grinding your teeth over a long period can wear down and damage your teeth. Stress reduction is an important concept both for overall wellness, and to prevent damage to your teeth. If you are grinding at night, ask your dentist if they recommend a mouth guard to prevent further damage.
Adopt Preventative Care Practices Today
If you take care of your teeth, your teeth will take care of you. Teeth are such a fundamental part of our lives, that it’s easy to take our dental health for granted. However, if your teeth do not look or feel right, it can have a catastrophic effect on your whole life. Nobody likes to live with pain, and dental pain can keep you from being able to work and live the way you want to. You deserve to look and feel great, and by incorporating a few preventative care activities into your life, you can be assured of having a dazzling smile.
If you have questions about your dental care, or you would like to schedule a consultation, contact us at South Central Dentistry today. No matter what your issue, or how long it has been since you have been to the dentist, Dr. Jerome and our amazing team of professionals will set you on the pathway to great dental health.