Tooth decay can be horrible. The pain makes you distracted and unable to focus, as well as irritable and likely to snap at innocent people. Preventive dentistry was developed to help people learn about the methods they can take to manage their own oral health. Preventive dentists are skilled at regular check-ups, but can also advise each patient individually about the best practices to keep their teeth in good shape regardless of how old they are.
What is Preventive Dentistry?
As anyone who has had to deal with tooth problems in the past can tell you, they wish they had taken better care of their teeth. That’s where preventive dentistry in Orlando comes in. According to Healthline, preventive dentistry ensures that people don’t develop dental problems later on in life. Engaging in preventive dentistry means that you’re less likely to suffer problems like cavities, enamel loss, or gingivitis as a result of not taking care of your teeth. There are practitioners of preventive dentistry in Orlando, but the success of this method starts with you. These suggestions can help you to do your part in keeping your teeth healthy, regardless of what age you’re at.
1. Brush Your Teeth Before Bed
The American Dental Association tells us that we ought to brush our teeth twice a day to prevent oral infections. Critically, brushing one’s teeth before bedtime can help to prevent plaque buildup and reduce the wear of enamel. After eating and before bed, food particles can sometimes become stuck on your teeth. If you leave them there throughout the whole night, they can cause severe damage to the tooth enamel and may eventually lead to cavities. Brushing before bed prevents that problem.
2. Don’t Forget Your Tongue
Many people who brush their teeth regularly overlook their tongues. The tongue can be just as easy for plaque to start collecting on as teeth, so cleaning it thoroughly when you brush your teeth is a necessary measure for good oral hygiene. A study done by the International Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry showed that kids that regularly cleaned their tongues when they brushed their teeth showed a significant reduction in their plaque levels. If it works that well for kids, you can imagine how much of an impact it makes with adults.
3. Brush Properly
The brushing technique that many people have learned follows them through their entire lives. However, having poor technique might be even worse than not brushing your teeth at all! Everyday Health states that most people think they’re brushing their teeth the right way, but overlook important details that impact the effectiveness of their methods. Following the instructions when cleaning your teeth is a good start, but having the right brush, brushing too aggressively, or using too much toothpaste can make for inefficient brushing. The result is that you end up doing more harm than good to your mouth.
4. Flossing is Just as Important as Brushing
While most people are aware of the importance of brushing their teeth, far too few realize how important flossing is to maintaining proper oral health. Because of the trauma, they grew up with regarding the practice, many of us simply defer flossing, stating we’ll get to it some other time. Deferring flossing is a bad habit and should be stopped. As soon as you finish brushing your teeth, flossing can help get rid of the stuff stuck between your teeth to ensure that it doesn’t promote decay. If you’re not flossing, you’re only doing half the job of taking care of your teeth.
5. Consider Using Mouthwash
Mouthwash is an important part of oral healthcare, but the companies marketing them don’t seize upon their necessity, making people think they’re optional. Mouthwash is important for three significant reasons:
- Acid is neutralized within the mouth
- Teeth are re-mineralized
- Hard-to-reach areas like around the base of teeth are cleaned
Asking a practitioner of preventive dentistry in Orlando should give you an idea of the sort of bands you should be checking out. Mouthwash is an important part of balancing your oral care regime.
6. Eat Crunchy Fruits and Veggies
Crunchy fruits and vegetables are both satisfying to consume and offer a great way to maintain your oral health. You might be thinking that fruits have a ton of sugar (since they ARE high in fructose), so why would you put those things in your mouth? As WebMD notes, the high water-content of fruits like apples dilutes the sugars that are in these fruits and makes them safer for you to consume. They also make your mouth generate saliva, allowing it to wash away food particles that might end up stuck to your teeth.
7. Don’t Eat So Much Sugar and Acidic Stuff
Sugar is bad for your teeth, that’s something all practitioners of preventive dentistry agree on. Why is sugar so bad, though? The simple explanation is that the bacteria that live in your mouth love sugar, and once they get some, they set about converting it into acid. This acid is terrible for your teeth enamel and starts eroding it. The more sugar you eat, the faster your enamel erodes, and the more likely you are to end up with a cavity. Consuming acidic stuff takes out the middle-man from the equation (sugar) and starts wearing away your enamel immediately. While it’s not recommended to avoid all those things completely, you should be moderate in your consumption.
8. Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Many people misunderstand the use of fluoride in toothpaste. The science is pretty clear about the benefits it offers to us, though. According to the journal Nature, there is strong evidence that suggests using fluoride-enriched toothpaste daily can prevent tooth decay in the form of cavities. Fluoride is our first and best line of defense against tooth decay. Adding fluoride to toothpaste makes it much better at fighting the germs that can lead to tooth decay if left unchecked. Additionally, fluoride-based toothpaste creates a protective barrier making it even more difficult for tooth decay to start occurring.
9. Don’t Abuse your Teeth
Some people like using their teeth as utility items. There are a few people who think that cracking nuts, opening bottles, and ripping open packaging is typical usage for teeth. While your teeth may be pretty strong, they aren’t adapted to this use, and continued use of them this way will lead to them cracking or chipping. We’re no longer in a stage of society where you need to do these things with your teeth. So save yourself some worry and use the manufactured tools for the purpose. Chipped or cracked teeth provide an easy entry for bacteria wanting to invade your mouth. You may even end up with an abscess, which requires hours under the scalpel for a root canal.
10. Drink More Water
Overall, the best thing you can do for your oral health is to drink water. Any practitioner of preventive dentistry will let you know that the number one drink for your oral care is good, old water. Drinking water after every meal is an excellent practice. The swishing of water around in your mouth helps to remove food particles from your teeth and clear away the sticky or acidic residue of some foods.
11. See Your Dentist At Least Twice a Year
The single most important step you need to take is to visit your dentist at least twice a year. As masters of preventive dentistry in Orlando, Serene Dental takes pride in the advice we offer to patients and makes visiting us a pleasure, not the scary memory of dentists’ offices you might have from your youth. Contact us today to book your visit, and we’ll automatically follow up after to keep you on track to fulfilling this most important of preventive measures.