An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Proper dental prevention and regular check-ups are your best bet for a healthier, pain free, beautiful smile. But how? Isn't brushing and flossing regularly enough? You do floss regularly, right!?!?
No sweat, we're here to help! Here are 7 ways to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, & dental health problems.
Perform Good Daily Oral Hygiene
Good daily hygiene is indispensable in maintaining good dental health. Brushing and flossing clean the teeth of bacteria and food debris that cause tooth decay and gum disease. One should aim for a minimum of two brushings and one flossing daily to clean all the tooth surfaces (which is not possible with brushing alone). Tongue brushing daily will greatly reduce bacteria in the mouth as well.
Consider purchasing an electric tooth brush because most people will perform more effective tooth cleansing than with a manual tooth brush. Rinse your mouth if you are not able to brush after eating, in particular rinse well after acidic food or drink as teeth should not be brushed right after exposure to acid.
Avoid foods that are low in nutritional value for your general health. Included in this group of low value foods and with dental health in mind keep away from sugary and acidic foods and drinks because they promote tooth decay and gum disease. Many sports beverages are both sugary and acidic and even sugar free versions are can be excessively acidic. Certain foods may be acceptable nutritionally but because they are sweet and sticky (for example some dried fruit) can be damaging to teeth. Also, limit between meals snacking as much as possible.
Quit Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption
There is no benign way to smoke. It contributes to serious systemic disease as well as dental disease, particularly gum disease but to cancer as well. Excessive alcohol consumption is another contributor to serious health problems and oral cancer. Smokers who also drink are considerably more likely to get oral cancers.
Prevent Dental Problems
In addition to the above there are preventive steps you can take with the guidance of your dentist in appropriate situations. These include sealants to prevent cavities in at risk tooth surfaces, mouth guards for contact sports, high fluoride tooth pastes, increased frequency of care with the Hygienist and many more.
Make Health a Priority in Your Life
Your dental health is influenced by your overall physical health and wellness, so it's important to take care of your whole body. For instance, untreated gum disease is associated with heart disease, diabetes, and many other chronic health issues. Speaking and visiting your dentist regularly may help with preventing general health problems as well as oral problems, for example, identifying the early stages of oral cancers and other issues through non-invasive preventive screenings during your dental exams.
Take a Proactive Approach to Treatment
A proactive approach will help prevent oral health issues such as tooth decay and gum disease and keep your body healthy long-term. Don't wait to treat health issues when they become noticeable, especially when it comes to aches, pains, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Schedule regular checkups with your dentist. Prevention is generally an easier process than treatment. Also, cavities and gum disease that are caught early will have more treatment options and will have a less invasive approach.
Listen To Your Body
Remember to take the warning signs of dental health problems seriously. Seek help if you're suffering from symptoms including:
- Headaches when waking up
- Poor sleep
- Red, bleeding, swollen, or irritated gums
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods
- Chronic bad breath
Even if these symptoms seem minor in the beginning, it may lead to serious health issues in the future. Remember to schedule dental checkups regularly!