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The best way to avoid many dental related problems is to adopt a daily routine of oral hygiene maintenance. Probably the most preventable of our health problems are those related to our dental health. Adopting a daily routine of a few simple 'habits' can eliminate many of those potential problems, and prevent unnecessary or costly visits to your Dentist's office. Just a few minutes of maintenance every day can save you thousands of dollars. Remember the old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". Many of the 'preventative measures' are things that we have learned as children, but have forgotten or avoided as adults. Most of those are simply common sense: like brushing after every meal, using dental floss to remove trapped food particles, eating foods that are not cavity producing (like foods high in sugar), and maintaining your oral health with regular visits to the Dentist for cleanings and scalings with a Dental Hygienist.
Simply brushing your teeth, for example, can help to eliminate or reduce decay-causing plaque, remove food particles, massage and clean your gums, and remove bacteria that causes bad breath. Brushing alone may not solve all dental problems, but it is the first defense against tooth decay, periodontal disease, and gingivitis. The key, of course, is the proper brushing technique. That entails more than just a quick brushing the morning and in the evening. How you brush you teeth can be as important as how often you brush. Using the wrong tooth brush, or brushing too hard, can cause damage to tooth enamel. Keep in mind that tooth paste is a mild abrasive, and brushing too hard can result in wearing the enamel thin. It has been shown that electric tooth brushes can provide a better cleaning outcome with less pressure. The main thing to remember is that you do not use a tooth brush that is too hard.
Unless you have a penchant for visits to your Dentist's office, for dental procedures such as fillings or root canals, brushing by itself is not enough. It is only part of the whole oral health process. Dentists regularly hear "But I brushed my teeth every day", as they tell patients that the tooth will have to be filled or removed or worse, if the tooth site has become infected. Best intentions are not a substitute for best practices.
A healthy diet can have a significant effect on your dental health. Not only do good eating habits provide your body with the nutrients necessary for a healthy lifestyle, they assist in strengthening and maintaining your oral health. The same nutrients that promote and maintaining healthy skeletal bones are the same ones that assist in maintaining strong, health teeth. Avoiding foods that promote bacterial growth (such as foods high in sugar content) helps to build strong teeth. Acidic foods can also have a detrimental affect on tooth enamel, causing a thinning of the enamel surface. If you absolutely must eat those types of food, be sure to brush afterwards to avoid or reduce the possibility of tooth decay. There is no 'perfect' diet, but there are 'healthy' diets; especially ones rich in nutrients, with a balance of foods from each food group.
Remember: They are your teeth, and they can last a lifetime if you take care of them. Like anything else in life, abused or misused, things don't last. For example, opening bottle caps with your teeth, engaging in sports without proper mouth protection, chewing on ice or hard candies, eating high sugar or acidic foods without brushing regularly, forgetting to brush and floss your teeth, and avoiding regular check-ups at your Dentist's office, can void your lifetime warranty.
Brushing, flossing and eating well (i.e. healthy), are the foundations of good oral health. Flossing, for example is the main defense against caries and decay, as food often gets trapped between teeth even after you have brushed. Trapped food can exacerbate the decay process and cause bad breath. Flossing should be done each time you brush your teeth - if not every time, at least once a day.
Regardless of how well you take care of your teeth, it is still necessary for you to have regular check-ups by a professional. Your Dentist can spot minor problems before they become major problems. During a check-up you Dentist and Dental Hygienist not only examine you for tooth decay, loose fillings or fillings that need to be removed and replaced, or the build up of decay-causing plaque, they also check for indications of mouth-related cancers and infections. Having a semi-annual cleaning and inspection is not something to fear or be apprehensive about. It is an investment in your health and general well-being. Waiting until your teeth hurt, or there is a major problem, is not the answer. Avoiding a problem is not solving a problem.
The Dental Professionals at the Leigh Smile Center are here to help you maintain optimum oral hygiene. If you have any questions about any dental procedure, or if you require assistance on best practices for good oral health, just use the Contact Us Page of this website to connect a dental professional who will provide you with that information.
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