Nobody likes finding out they have a new cavity or need to get braces. These common dental problems do have their roots in genetics, but did you know that more often than not, you can get ahead of dental problems with preventive dentistry?
We’re talking much more than just brushing twice a day and flossing every once in awhile. Preventive dentistry is a necessary part of everyone’s daily routine.
Want to know more? We put together an informative guide to understanding and implementing preventive dentistry into your life. Keep reading to learn the ways to healthier smile!
What Is Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry is the practice of tooth care before something goes wrong. Certain activities help to prevent tooth ailments like cavities and gum disease, and thus are preventive dentistry.
These are things you do at home either daily or periodically, or something as comprehensive as going in for a dental cleaning with a trusted dental professional.
Top Preventive Dentistry Tips For Tooth Protection
These tips for preventive dentistry and tooth care are very easy to implement into your daily routine (if you haven’t already).
Brush your teeth twice a day.
Remember how we said this preventive care guide would be much more than just brushing your teeth twice a day? Not only should you be brushing twice a day, but you should be brushing your teeth the correct way as well.
The right way to brush your teeth is as follows:
- Hold your brush at a forty-five degree angle.
- Sweep the bristles down and away from your gums.
- Brush the underside, front, and back of your teeth.
Buy the right kind of toothbrush as well. If a toothbrush is too bulky or not stiff enough for your preference, you may not be properly brushing your teeth.
Change your toothbrush.
Too many people are guilty of this, and we certainly understand. Trying to remember your toothbrush’s purchase date isn’t at the top of most people’s to-do list.
However, going too long without changing out your toothbrush can lead to a toothbrush that’s doing more harm than good. A frayed and over-softened toothbrush won’t clean your teeth very well, and an old toothbrush could be a breeding ground of bacteria.
Floss daily. We mean it!
Most people don’t like flossing. Whether it is the strange or uncomfortable sensitive or the extra time spent in the bathroom, not a lot of people enjoy flossing.
Not flossing at least once a day could lead to a host of tooth problems. Food particle and plaque accumulation can get stuck between the teeth where no toothbrush can reach, which can cause serious tooth decay.
Most dentists recommend flossing twice a day as something you need to do.
Be extra careful if you’re more mature.
The older we get, the more potential dental problems we may face. Many elderly people suffer from poor tooth health. This is usually due to poor preventive dentistry in their youth, or arthritis that makes brushing the teeth properly a more difficult feat.
No matter your age, you should be taking care of your teeth. If you’re older, you should be taking extra care of your teeth.
If arthritic problems or other health issues make brushing difficult, be patient with yourself. Even if it takes longer to brush your teeth properly, you’ll be glad you made the choice to preserve your pearly white.
When older people begin to lose their teeth due to poor tooth care, this could lead to malnourishment and problems fighting disease. A set of properly-fitting dentures may be the way to go, if tooth loss becomes too severe.
Stop making major dental blunders.
There are a few things you can do right this moment to help aid in preventive dentistry:
- Quit smoking. Smoking is incredibly bad for your oral health.
- Work towards a healthier lifestyle if you’re diabetic. Diabetes can wreak havoc on your teeth.
- Reduce your carbohydrate and sugar intake.
- Try a dry mouth toothpaste if you’re suffering from dry mouth fairly often. Dry mouth is harmful to the teeth, as saliva is an important part of clearing out food from the mouth.
Rinse your mouth often.
Rinse your mouth with fluoride based mouthwash after eating or drinking. This will help reduce your chance of getting a cavity.
Try a dental sealant.
Have you ever heard of dental sealants? Typically recommended for kids, dental sealants are also very helpful for adults looking to engage in preventive dentistry.
Sealants are a plastic coating that seals of parts of the teeth where food and germs tend to accumulate to help prevent tooth decay. They are typically applied to the back tops of the teeth and don’t need to be replaced for several years.
Eat tooth-friendly foods.
Diet is a bigger part of preventive dentistry and overall tooth health than many people realize. Extra sticky and sugary foods, like cookies or gummy candies, easily adhere to the teeth and will quickly encourage tooth decay.
Try cutting down on the snack foods and opt for more fresh foods like vegetables and fruit. Most vegetables actually help promote saliva production as well.
Sip on water instead of soda.
We all know how bad soda is for our teeth (and our midsection) and yet we still insist on drinking it.
Try cutting down on your soda intake and drink water instead. Drinking water is a great way to fight dry mouth and promote saliva production.
Go to the dentist.
This one’s a no-brainer. Unfortunately, most people tend to miss the mark when it comes to regularly visiting the dentist.
You should be visiting your dentist twice yearly, once every six months or so. Whether or not you are experiencing tooth or gum ailments, this should still be a habit.
When problems with your teeth begin, you may not notice them at first — but a dentist will. A big part of preventive care is trusting your dentist to find problems before they get serious.