Practice Preventive Dental Care to Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy
Dentists do the important job of helping patients keep their teeth clean and healthy so people can chew, eat, and speak without interference or discomfort. But it’s also important for every individual to do their own hard work to maintain healthy teeth and gums – and that’s known as preventive care.
Being attentive to your teeth means you also care about your overall well-being because, ultimately, your teeth are the gateway to the rest of your body. What goes on in the health of your mouth can impact what occurs within in your entire system.
When your teeth are in good condition, it’s easy to get a little lazy and skip a brushing or flossing or check-up here and there. This is a poor habit to start because your teeth only need a little bit of neglect before they become decayed, damaged, or poorly functioning. You want to hold on to your natural teeth for as long as you can, and if you’ve had cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry, you want to maintain the quality of these treatments too.
Best Practices for Brushing Your Teeth
The ideal teeth brushing routine is twice a day – and that includes your teeth and tongue. However, it’s not just how often you brush but how well you brush every day. And brushing well doesn’t mean brushing hard, but thoroughly – the goal is to remove as much of the bacteria, food, and plaque build-up as you can so that your enamel looks, feels, and is as clean as it can be outside of a professional dental cleaning. Overzealous tooth brushing can actually damage your teeth and gums, causing recession and other types of damage.
Why You Must Floss Daily
Flossing is one of those daily tasks that is easily neglected. Maybe you didn’t eat anything that day that feels like it got stuck between your teeth. It’s not hard to talk yourself out of taking one minute to floss properly, but why bother skipping when it only takes a minute to clean bacteria, debris, and leftover food out of your teeth? Why leave any possible specks of what you ingested that day the opportunity to fester and turn into a cavity or something more sinister? Flossing eliminates whatever has accumulated between the tight spaces between your teeth all day. And braces-wearers? It’s especially important for you to clean thoroughly in and around your wires and brackets to prevent decay or discoloration from settling in as you undergo orthodontic treatment.
Preventive care still falls under a patient’s jurisdiction even though a dentist and hygienist are responsible for providing a thorough teeth cleaning and exam. It’s up to you as a patient to schedule your bi-annual dental cleanings and exams – and keep those appointments. Not only will you walk away from these appointments with gleaming, super-clean teeth, you’ll have undergone an oral cancer screening and a thorough investigation by your dentist. If there is anything wrong with your teeth and gums, if gum disease or cavities are brewing, your dentist’s exam and the x-rays that are taken once a year will reveal all. And finding oral health problems before they evolve into bigger problems or dental emergencies will save you time, pain, and expense.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
The kind of food you eat and beverages you drink impact your oral health too. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet means you aren’t eating a ton of sugar or carbs and that you’re preventing your teeth from being constantly bathed in a sugar bath by drinking a lot of water. But the condition of your teeth and gums also impacts what you are able to eat, which should be incentive to keep up with good oral health care. If your teeth are loose or damaged, you’ll be more dependent on a diet of soft foods that don’t threaten the state of your smile and you’ll shy away from the important proteins, fruits, and vegetables that keep you healthy in mouth and body.