It’s a good idea to keep your teeth around for a while because they surely come in handy when you smile. This statement is a fact, it is common knowledge and no amount of research is needed to back it up. Strong and healthy teeth give you the confidence to smile wide and free but that’s just one of the many benefits they offer.
From helping break down food into smaller more digestible parts to shaping the face and allowing you to speak properly, your teeth have numerous benefits. However, in order to ensure they continue to perform these functions, it is important to look after them diligently. Brushing twice a day, flossing once and visiting a dentist regularly are just some of the ways to do just that.
Unfortunately, most US residents are not the best when it comes to caring about their teeth. For instance, 26% of adults in the country have cavities in their teeth that they choose to leave untreated. Also, 46% of people who are 30 and above show some signs of gum disease while 13% of children between the ages of 5 and 19 also have untreated signs of tooth decay.
Still, it’s never too late to start. If you’ve been ignoring your oral health you can mend your ways and visit a dentist to get a guide on the first steps to take. They can perform a thorough checkup and assess if there are any major issues that need treatment options like braces, bone grafting, extraction, etc. Luckily if you don’t they can give you a regimen that can help you look after your teeth properly.Besides that be mindful of the following things:
Watch what you eat and drink
The most common reason for cavities is the unhealthy food you consume every day. Sugary drinks especially sodas give numerous bacteria the nutrients they need to multiply and eventually cause damage to your teeth. Plaque uses the excess amounts of sugar not just in drinks but from various other foods to create acids that can eat away at your teeth.
Many drinks and foods that may seem healthy like sports beverages and some yogurts also contain large amounts of sugar. Therefore, in order to ensure your teeth and gums remain strong and cavity-free for a long time, limiting or completely avoiding foods and drinks loaded with refined sugar is the ideal thing to do. By doing so you’re taking away the food source for bacteria that damage the oral cavity.
A general rule of thumb that most people learn from an early age is to brush their teeth at least twice a day. While this is the norm and is effective when done right, a more appropriate technique is to try and brush after every meal. Food particles get stuck in the spaces between teeth; the longer they are in your mouth the more time cavity-causing bacteria have to act on them.
Brushing after every meal ensures you clean away any lingering debris from your oral cavity. Waiting all the way till before bedtime can mean several hours of potential germ multiplication and especially for people who already have cavities this can have a compounding effect. It is, therefore, advisable to carry a dental hygiene kit with you at all times to brush as and when needed.
Floss once a day
Although brushing can get rid of a lot of particles stuck between teeth it doesn’t eliminate all of them. This is where flossing helps. The floss wire can easily get between teeth and remove debris that brush bristles can’t. Dentists recommend flossing at least once a day, either at the start of the day or at the end. It helps eliminate stuff that can cause cavities between teeth because those can be nasty surprises you may not want to deal with at all.
Schedule regular dentist appointments
Going to the dentist is something most people tend to ignore because they feel it is not worth the time when in fact, it is. A dentist can run a thorough examination of your oral cavity and report on its overall health. Not only that but they can also point out any budding issues during the initial stages so that you can start treatment before the problem becomes too big. Dental professionals are also helpful in telling you about best oral care practices including brushing techniques and which products to use.
Visit a dentist every six months even if your teeth are healthy. If you have a minor or major oral health issue the frequency of these visits can increase depending on the problem.
Limit the use of coffee, alcohol, and cigarettes
While these things don’t necessarily lead to cavities they can cause discoloration and weaken your teeth. Not to mention smoking and excessive use of alcohol are generally bad for the health of the entire human body. Smoking can also lead to oral cancer and various other gum diseases that can eat up the oral cavity over time.
Also, coffee, which is a mandatory drink for many Americans can lead to issues with your teeth. Not only does the beverage cause extensive staining of the enamel but it can also lead to the build-up of plaque and tartar both of which can slowly but surely eat up your teeth. If you take your coffee with sugar you know you are causing even more damage to your oral cavity.
Some people are also in the habit of chewing tobacco which is another detrimental practice, especially for the health of teeth and gums. At the same time, alcohol which is both an acidic and sugary beverage can also lead to tooth decay. Therefore, it is best to avoid these drinks because at the end of the day, it impacts the strength of your teeth.
Looking after your oral health and ensuring your teeth stay strong as well as healthy is not just about your appearance; it is about a whole lot else. It is about your confidence, your ability to chew properly the chance to have peaceful nights without waking up from excessive pain and staying healthy throughout life. However, all this is only possible if you decide to put in effort early on in life because the smallest steps will pay off enormously as you go through various age cycles.