We have all seen the horror images of teeth that haven’t been taken care of.
Many dentists have the terrible photos of rotted teeth around their surgery just to remind you what not to do.
Instead of having your teeth end up like that, follow some up these simple solutions to maintain your oral health.
1. Be mindful of sugar
By now it is common knowledge for most of us that sugar is one of the key contributors to tooth decay. What some people might not know is that naturally occurring sugars – such as those from honey and fruit – are just as detrimental to your teeth as those found in lollies and soft drinks.
Because of this it’s important to be aware of how much sugar you are eating, both naturally occurring and refined. There are some food you shouldn’t cut back on – like fruit – this is where it is important to keep up with your flossing and brushing.
2. Don’t ignore your daily (or nightly) grind
While mildly clenching your teeth or grinding your jaw might not seem like a big deal, severe cases can lead to everything from chipped, split and worn teeth to headaches and jaw trouble – which can end up being quite expensive to fix.
If you experience the tell-tale signs such as jaw soreness or a dull, constant headache – make a visit to your dentist and they can fit you with a guard to wear to bed.
Tooth grinding doesn’t discriminate according to age either. Children are just as likely to grind their teeth as teens or adults, but in adults stress is often an influencing factor. So it makes sense to identify the source of any stress that you think leads to grinding, and to address that stress.
3. Be wary of your dry mouth
There are a few reason you might have a dry mouth, some preventable, others less so. It might be due to an anatomical issue such as blocked nasal passages (when the person affected has to predominantly breathe through their mouth) or “incompetent lip seals” (when people cannot close their lips unless forced to do so). Other factors might simply be a person’s hydration levels, or the side-effects of some medications.
A dry mouth makes your saliva more acidic and bacteria more infectious. Both these thing can lead to the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. So, if you feel you may be experiencing a notably dry mouth, you might want to start discussing with your dentist some of the ways which you can try to manage the problem.
Although drinking water is great, there are some drinks that aren’t so great for your lovely teeth. The oh-so-trendy apple cider vinegar and lemon water are two no-goes. Although a variety of celebrities and natural health experts have dubbed these drinks to work wonders on your insides, dentist are sure of one thing: the acetic acid in the vinegar and lemon is terrible for your tooth decay. So much so, that even after a good rinse with water after drinking these drinks might not mitigate potential damage
4. Neglecting the gums
Sometimes we can be at extremely low risk of tooth decay but extremely high risk of gum disease – so it’s important to be aware of your gum health even if you have the world’s healthiest teeth.
A person’s proneness can have a lot to do with their inflammatory response and immune systems. Regardless, there is no point in having healthy teeth if they are wobbling about in the bone because the gums are diseased. Ask you dentist it to check your gum health at every check-up appointment.
Like wooden toothpicks are no good, hard-bristled brushes are tough-looking instruments that tend to cause more problems than they solve.
Effective as they might seem, harder bristles can erode your enamel so much so that you might as well be using sandpaper! Instead use a soft or extra-soft toothbrush. Research indicates that your gums will suffer from tough brushes as well. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that while hard-bristled toothbrushes removed plaque, they were also more likely than softer brushes to cause gingivitis and tissue damage.
6. Waiting for, or ignoring pain
It’s not a good idea to wait for pain before doing something about it. Tooth pain usually follows the tooth being severely affected by infection or decay, and by the time the pain is felt, the infection or decay is deep within the tooth. This can mean treatment needs to be more severe or the prognosis is less positive.
By getting regular check-ups, problems can be caught earlier, before they give you any pain, this way your treatment will be less invasive and more likely to be successful.
As for ignoring pain – the longer your pain is left, the poorer the prognosis might be. It is good to know what a healthy mouth feels like; so then it is more obvious when there is a problem.
7. Using social media as your dentist
The web is full of weird and (seemingly) wonderful DIY dental tips that can hurt much more than they’ll help.
When it comes to tooth whitening and dental care its best to use approved products that have been tested, and not something you read on the Internet.
If you need dental advice or think it is time for a check up, book an appointment at Proactive Dental for the highest level of service and full range of treatments.