The mouth and teeth are the first step in digestion. Teeth tear, cut, and grind food that would otherwise get stuck in the throat. The teeth and tongue work closely together to give us the gift of speech. Speech and eating are big parts of everyday life.
Teeth are very efficient at what they do, but they require maintenance on our part in order to keep them healthy and strong. Many people are guilty of not paying attention to their teeth until they become a problem.
The Consequences of Bad Dental Practices
Tooth decay: Teeth are protected by a hard layer called enamel. You can feel it with your tongue. In the dental business, bacteria that build up on teeth is called plaque. Plaque sticks itself onto teeth every 24 hours, giving it that sickly yellow look if regular brushing isn’t followed. Enamel can decay when bacteria isn’t cleared away.
Gum disease: Flossing is arguably as important as brushing your teeth. If regular flossing isn’t practiced, the plaque in between teeth builds up, causing the gums to become tender, inflamed, and more inclined to bleed.
How Do I Protect Myself?
As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Don’t let your teeth degrade in health and develop issues. Instead, take these measures to ensure that your teeth stay healthy:
• Brush twice a day: Most brands of toothpaste are at their strongest for 12 hours after application. Brushing once in the morning and once in the evening ensures continuous 24-hour protection.
• Check how much fluoride your toothpaste has: For teeth without a history of dental issues, look for a toothpaste that has 1,350 to 1,500 ppm of fluoride in it.
• Floss: According to a recent survey, nearly a third of Americans don’t floss. A toothbrush cannot clean in between teeth effectively; flossing comes into play here to give those teeth a good cleaning.
• Mouthwash is a part of the trinity: Is your car really clean if you only clean its seats? In a similar vein, is your mouth clean and bacteria free if you don’t finish with mouthwash?
• Stay away from cigarettes: Smoking can lead to oral complications like stained teeth, bad breath, mouth cancer, and gum disease.
• Sugar is the enemy: Reduce your sugar intake rather than fully abstaining from deserts, sugary cereals, candies, and ice cream, and try to eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are natural teeth cleansers, which aid in keeping teeth clean.
• Alcohol affects the teeth: Alcohol degrades enamel. Experts say that a daily limit of one drink shouldn’t damage your teeth.
• Dentists exist for a reason: Seeing a dentist regularly works out to be cheaper for you and better for your teeth than visiting only when you suspect there is a problem.
Learn More About Proper Care
Speak with Dr. Dan Miller, an experienced cosmetic dentist, to find out more about the best ways to protect your teeth from dental issues. To set up a consultation, contact our office today.