Research has shown that caring for your teeth and gums is crucial to living a healthier life. Untreated problems, such as cavities and gum disease, can worsen over time and lead to infections and bone loss. These complications could cause premature loss of teeth. In addition, poor oral hygiene can lead to more severe issues beyond just your mouth. Studies have shown that there is a significant connection between poor dental health and heart disease, certain cancers, and complications from diabetes. Here are four steps to making dental health a top priority in your life.
- Address Immediate Concerns
If it’s been more than six months since your last dental checkup, or if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your mouth or jaw, it’s important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible to fix these issues. Your dentist can help repair many minor problems, such as filling cavities or placing a crown or bridge. However, you may need to visit an oral surgeon, such as Dr. George Hatzigiannis, to deal with concerns like having a tooth pulled or having impacted wisdom teeth removed. Oral surgeons can also insert an implant or perform procedures to help with chronic jaw problems.
- Practice Good Daily Care
Once you’ve addressed any immediate concerns about your oral health, it’s time to make a habit of caring for your teeth and gums on a regular basis. While electric toothbrushes may do a thorough job of getting your teeth and gums clean, they aren’t necessary for good oral hygiene. As long as you brush carefully at least twice a day, a manual toothbrush can still result in a job well done. In addition, it’s important to floss daily to remove food particles that can lead to a buildup of bacteria causing bad breath and tooth decay. Adding an antiseptic mouth rinse can also help kill unwanted germs in your mouth. For best results, experts recommend brushing and flossing approximately one hour after each meal.
- Choose Your Food and Drink Wisely
It’s well-known that foods rich in calcium are great for your teeth by helping them stay strong. While dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium, spinach, almonds, and salmon are other great options that contain this important nutrient. Sugary foods and beverages really are bad for your teeth, as they can cause tooth decay. Sugar causes bacteria to grow and thrive, so consuming more of it could lead to more cavities. Instead, try to choose more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Consuming vitamin-packed foods and drinking more water isn’t just good for your digestive system; it’s good for your dental health too!
- Schedule Regular Checkups
Prevention is the best way to protect against dental disease. However, brushing and flossing aren’t enough on their own. It’s important to visit a dentist every six months to have your teeth professionally cleaned. X-rays and examinations can also help your dentist detect diseases or problems in their early stages, making them easier to treat.
Practicing good dental health is about more than just a pretty smile. It can help reduce pain and discomfort and may reduce your risk for developing more serious diseases. Take the necessary steps to improve your dental care habits today!