You only get one set of adult teeth, so it’s up to you to take care of them. While visits to your dentist are an essential factor in tooth and gum health, there are many other ways that you can be proactive in maintaining your smile. The guide below offers a few simple tips for dental health.
4 Ways You Can Protect Your Smile
1. Limit Sugar Intake
The primary threat to your teeth are the bacteria in your mouth. Most dental problems can be traced back to an excess of bacteria which consume sugars and create plaque, a sticky substance that coats your teeth. The more plaque that’s present, the easier it is for bacteria to stick around and generate acid, which will dissolve the enamel causing a cavity. Your best bet for controlling these bacteria is limiting their food sources by avoiding excess sugar and cleaning them off your teeth with proper brushing and flossing.
2. Quit Smoking
You probably associate cigarettes with negative lung and throat effects, but they will also damage your oral tissues and teeth irreparably. The smoke will stain your teeth a yellowish-brown, which can make it easier to get decay. Smoking will also damage your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight periodontal disease. The same components of cigarette smoke that cause lung cancer will also increase your risk of oral cancer.
3. Create a Routine
Consistency is your best bet for a healthy smile. Each day, you should floss and brush twice, once in the morning and once in the evening. It is especially important to clean your mouth before you go to sleep. Any food debris and bacteria that are left in your mouth can cause more problems because you naturally make less saliva while you are sleeping. Without the saliva the bacteria can grow faster and your teeth are less protected. If you’re prone to dental decay and have a record of cavity formation, an additional fluoride rinse may help remineralize your teeth to help fight enamel loss. It is also important to see your dentist every six months so they can clean areas that you missed and assess your oral health.
4. Change your Bad Habits
Teeth are the hardest substance in your body, but they are not immune to damage. Habits such as chewing ice are hard on your teeth not because the ice is harder than your teeth, but because of the extreme temperature cycling. When the enamel of your teeth goes from warm to cold and is combined with the pressure of biting, it can cause cracks to develop in the tooth. Teeth can also develop cracks from clenching or grinding them while you are sleeping. You may not even realize that you have this bad habit until it starts to cause problems. Some signs that you may be clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep include: frequent headaches, generalized tooth sensitivity, pain when biting, muscle or jaw joint pain, and chipped or broken teeth. If you suspect that you may be clenching or grinding your teeth, a dental nightguard will help protect your teeth while you are sleeping.
These steps will all have a tangible impact on your dental health. If you don’t have a dentist, call the experts at Keen Dental Care. Based in Columbia, MO, they offer teeth cleanings, fillings, nightguards and a wide array of cosmetic procedures, including invisible braces, veneers, and crowns. Learn about their full range of services online, and call (573) 875-5336 to schedule a dentist appointment.