Regular dental cleaning and examinations are important for preventative dental care. Your dentist removes plaque and tartar and looks for more serious complications like gum disease. However, you can reduce your need for dental visits between exams and cleanings by following these three tips.
1. Brush and Floss Regularly
Bacteria naturally form in your mouth, and it likes to eat food debris. The bacteria release acids as it feeds, which slowly erode the enamel, increasing the risk of tooth decay. If left ignored, the plaque can harden into tartar. Tartar isn't just unsightly, but it can also irritate your gum tissue.
Irritated gums may become infected and develop gingivitis or the more serious form of gum disease: periodontitis. Periodontitis can destroy your oral health by impacting the gums, teeth, and jawbone. Even if gum disease doesn't develop, irritated gums pull away from teeth, exposing roots to root caries.
Regular brushing and flossing eliminate plaque before it can harden. This reduces the amount of food for bacteria to feed on too. When brushing, make sure to brush at an angle to try and get as close to the gumline as possible. Don't brush too hard as you can damage the enamel.
2. Avoid Certain Foods and Beverages
Certain foods and beverages can be problematic for a variety of reasons. Some drinks like red wine, tea, coffee, and soda can stain your teeth. However, the acid in those same drinks can also expedite enamel erosion. Citric foods, while healthy, can also soften the enamel a little.
Bacteria really love sugar, so if your diet is high in sugar, the bacteria can feast. This speeds up the decay process. Similarly, avoid simple carbohydrates as they are processed like sugar. Finally, avoid hard foods like chewing on ice or hard candies to prevent chips and cracks.
3. Wear a Mouthguard When Needed
If you participate in a high-impact activity like boxing or football, wear your mouthguard. The protection and shock absorption can prevent teeth from getting chips or cracks, experiencing pulp death, and falling out.
If you grind your teeth at night, a nighttime mouthguard can help. People who grind their teeth don't only have a lot of jaw pain but also increase the risk of damage from constant and extreme pressure. The mouthguard takes some of that pressure away from the teeth and jaw.
You should continue to see your dentist for regular cleanings and examinations, but with these tips, you can reduce the need for emergency or restorative treatments. If you would like to know more, contact a dentist in your area today.