Dental Dilemmas: 4 Tips That Will Help You Prevent Gum Disease
Tooth woes plague millions of Americans every day; worry about adequate care, hundreds of millions; gum disease, 67.2 million. If you’re a person with teeth, we’ve got some tips for you to whip your pearly whites in shape, and the best methods to keep them what way.
1. Start with Diet
It might come as a surprise that your diet has a huge impact on your teeth, and not just in the most obvious ways. Many of us are aware that highly acidic or sugary foods and beverages, particularly carbonated drinks, are terrible for our teeth. How many of us know, though, that antioxidants can fight the bacteria that causes periodontal disease? Turns out, there’s a lot of surprising science behind certain foods and how they help your teeth. Including more firm, crunchy fruits and veggies, which are naturally abrasive, can help to scrape off plaque.
Drinking more water helps wash away food particles and keeps you hydrated and producing saliva, your mouth’s best defense against decay. Some tooth-friendly snacks might shock you: cheese, for example, is both rich in calcium and acidic, helping both to build up enamel and fight off plaque. Build your diet around your teeth!
2. Make Friends with Floss
You groan, but flossing is highly important in reversing the early stages of gum disease. Think about it: if you’re only brushing, you’re missing cleaning approximately 30 percent of each tooth’s surface. That’s a lot of bacteria and plaque hiding out in the crevices of your teeth, where it’s hard to see any damage! Adding flossing to your routine just once a day can reverse gum bleeding, an early sign of periodontal disease.
3. Go for Regular Cleanings
Your groans intensify, but yet again, the most banal is also the most vital. So many of us avoid the dentist like the plague, for a cornucopia of reasons ranging from discomfort to lack of time, to our own detriment. Nothing beats a professional cleaning when it comes to taking care of your teeth, and preventative care is highly preferable to curative care. Most dentists suggest aiming for two cleanings a year, but your dental insurance might provide for more or fewer.
4. Get the Care You Need
Putting off dental care is a popular route for the good chunk of rational humans who’d rather never have to see the dentist, but unfortunately, delaying the inevitable can be costly. Ignoring early cavities can let the damage hit the deepest layer of the tooth, the nerve tissue. At that point, the answer is the dreaded root canal. Don’t let it get to that point! If you’ve got cavities, try asking about dental crowns instead of fillings, which provide more coverage and actually serve to strengthen the tooth.
Your teeth do a lot for you, you owe it to them to treat them well! Follow these tips to take care of your chompers, and if you feel any sort of tooth discomfort or notice dark spots on your teeth, make an appointment to see your dentist right away.