Caring for your teeth is a lifelong task. As babies, caregivers perform this job until we are able to adequately do a good job on our own. If we’re lucky, our permanent teeth will perform for us for a lifetime of meals, speeches, conversations, and smiles. Daily brushing, flossing, and consistent visits to see the family dentist are a few of the things we can do to maintain excellent oral health.
Brushing – At least twice every day teeth should be brushed using a soft bristled brush and a fluoridated tooth paste or gel. Tongue and gum tissue should be included.
Flossing – Dental floss removes the food caught between teeth and around back teeth that the tooth brush has not reached. Daily flossing not only removes food debris, but stimulates gum tissue when used correctly (your dentist or hygienist can demonstrate the correct use of dental floss).
Family dentist visits – Seeing your dental provider every six months allows the plaque that has accumulated since your last visit to be removed. Keeping teeth free from plaque build-up helps to eliminate dental decay and the possible onset of gum disease.
The dental exam you receive at your dental appointment may help to identify more serious problems that may occur including oral cancer; potential problems associated with teeth grinding and jaw clenching; and point out watch areas for you to monitor.
Maintaining a diet with nutritious value includes fresh fruits and vegetables; eliminate or reduce sugary snacks and beverages.
Stay sufficiently hydrated; water works best.
If you engage in sports or activities where there is potential for oral damage, wear a protective mouth guard to keep teeth, tongue, and mouth as safe as possible.
Eliminate tobacco use of all kinds.
Do not bite down on non-edible items. Chewing on things like pen tops can damage teeth. Hard items like ice and hard candy can result in one or more cracked or broken teeth.
Controlling daily stress is important for overall health as well as dental health. Stress can lead to teeth grinding or jaw clenching; wearing a custom designed night guard can help to control this problem.
You can do all the right things to promote excellent oral health, and still experience a dental problem. Awareness and preparedness coupled with healthy dental habits are important assets to achieve a lifetime of use from your permanent teeth.