7 Ways to Help Prevent Tooth Decay, Gum Disease, & Dental Health Problems
Are they actually related?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Proper dental prevention and regular check-ups are your best bet for a healthier, pain free, beautiful smile. But how? Isn't brushing and flossing regularly enough? You do floss regularly, right!?!?
No sweat, we're here to help! Here are 7 ways to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, & dental health problems.
Invest In an Electric Toothbrush
Manual toothbrushes can only clean your teeth so much. Electric toothbrushes are a popular and beneficial alternative to get a deep clean in order to prevent oral health issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. A few options for electric toothbrushes are Sonicare or Oral B which have replaceable brush heads.
Tips For Using an Electric Toothbrush:
- Press lightly when brushing - you don't need to put too much pressure with an electric toothbrush.
- Clean brush heads by running it under water or rinsing it with mouthwash to avoid bacteria from building up.
- Replace the brush heads regularly, especially when the bristles are out of shape or discoloured.
- Talk to your dentist and hygienist about any questions or concerns you may have about electric toothbrushes. They'll provide you with all the information you need!
You shouldn't miss this step because flossing helps remove any extra debris that a toothbrush can't reach. Flossing daily with a proper technique will reduce your chances for cavities, gum disease and will improve your oral health overall. Ask your dentist and hygienist on good flossing techniques to ensure you're doing the most you can for your teeth.
Choose Foods & Beverages Thoughtfully
Your choices of food and beverages also play a large role in your dental health and in preventing health issues such as tooth decay.
Avoid Foods & Drinks That Are:
- Sugary - Foods and drinks that are high in sugar, especially fruit juices are not healthy choices for your teeth and gums.
- Acidic - Beverages that are high in acidity like soda and coffee can have adverse effects such as demineralization and tooth decay.
- Sticky - Dried fruits like raisins or prunes are perceived as healthy, but these sugary snacks can get stuck and damage your teeth.
Choose Foods & Drinks Like:
- Leafy Greens - Spinach, broccoli, kale
- High-Fiber Fruits and Veggies
- Nuts like Almonds and Legumes
- Unsweetened coffee and tea
Rinsing your mouth with fresh water can be more beneficial than brushing your teeth after every meal. When consuming foods or beverages with high acidity, it weakens the tooth enamel. Brushing right after can be detrimental, as the tooth is weakened after being in contact with high acidity food/drinks. Therefore, gently rinsing your mouth with water is a safer alternative. In addition, alcohol-free mouthwash freshens your breath. It is less harsh than mouthwashes that contain alcohol which can lead to dry mouth and gum disease.
Make Health a Priority in Your Life
Your dental health is influenced by your overall physical health and wellness, so it's important to take care of your whole body. For instance, untreated gum disease is directly linked to heart disease, diabetes, and many other chronic health issues. Speaking and visiting your dentist regularly can help with preventing health problems as well as identifying the early stages of oral cancers and other issues through non-invasive preventive screenings during your dental exams.
Take a Proactive Approach to Treatment
A proactive approach will help prevent oral health issues such as tooth decay, gum disease and keep your body healthy long-term. Don't wait to treat health issues when they are intolerable, especially when it comes to aches, pains, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Schedule regular dental checkups and appointments with your doctor. Prevention is generally an easier process than treatment. For instance, cavities that are caught early will have more treatment options and will be a less-invasive approach.
Listen To Your Body
Remember to take the warning signs of dental health problems seriously. Seek help if you're suffering from:
- Headaches when waking up
- Poor sleep
- Red, bleeding, swollen, or irritated gums
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods
- Chronic bad breath
Even if these symptoms seem minor in the beginning, it may lead to serious health issues in the future. Remember to schedule dental checkups regularly!