When you wake up in the morning, fresh and full of life, you’re probably thinking about many things that you have to do that day and onward. But as you continue to get dressed and prepared for the day, you’re probably not dwelling on the fact that you’ve got a whole bunch of teeth in your head. Even as you grab your favorite toothbrush or mouthwash and dutifully swish, your mind is probably on a whole host of other things far removed from your dental hygiene.
There’s no need to feel bad about the obliviousness to your teeth, we all take basic things in our life for granted from time to time. But you can bet that as soon as you bite into breakfast, you’re grateful that all your teeth work as intended and not the other way around. Like an ex-lover or favorite television show, don’t wait until your teeth are rotted and awaiting oral surgery to appreciate them. Instead, take precautionary measures to guard your natural teeth while you still have them so that you don’t have to buy dentures or sip your food through a straw.
In this article we’re going to go over how to take care of your teeth properly, while also highlighting how to fix things that go wrong. We’ll also mention cosmetic dentistry, how to find an affordable dentist, and more. Since the most common New Year’s resolution is that people want to improve their health in some way, this is a component of that. It may not be the most entertaining topic in the world, but they’re dental health tips worth knowing. After all, once your teeth are gone they cannot be put back as they were for any price. It’s simply better to take care of them while they’re in your mouth and ready for action.
Choosing Your Dental Technician
If you’ve never gone to the dentist before, then consider yourself lucky to be alive now, when dentists are plentiful and well trained. Of all the dental health tips you can read and scour on the internet or library, choosing a quality dentist should be near the top. Compared to just letting your teeth fall by the wayside, dentists end up being miracle workers in the long run for a whole host of reasons.
Until our modern era, high-quality dental care was not a service that the average person was exposed to. Throughout history, dental care was for the privileged classes, and because dental hygiene and technology was not very advanced (until the advent of modern dental schools and practices), you wouldn’t have wanted it anyway. But luckily nowadays dentists are both plentiful and highly trained, so even if you only go to them expecting dental health tips to bring home you’ll likely receive a whole lot more. They can not only clean your teen but provide composite dental fillings, fit you for dentures, take X-rays (to ensure bone health) and reassure you that your current dental routine is working.
If you’re apprehensive about choosing a dentist, don’t be. Not only are there lots of online reviews you can read about specific dentists, but you can even look up public health records related to licensing and what specific dentists are allowed to practice. Word of mouth is still one of the oldest dental health tips for a reason (because people don’t recommend dentists that mistreat them), but take it with a grain of salt. Good dentists can have bad reputations and vice versa, they are just as dependent on the economic conditions as any other business or specialty.
Go For a Cleaning Twice a Year
One of the most basic dental health tips was probably drilled into your head as a child: remember to brush your teeth twice a day, after breakfast and dinner. If it wasn’t, then now you know that’s a good idea to carry on into your older years. But what about teeth cleaning from a quality dentist? It has moved to the top of the list for dental health tips but is a relatively recent phenomenon.
A cleaning usually consists of several phases, depending on the dentist you go to. First is the actual cleaning, where the dentist uses surgical tools to scrap your teeth for plaque and other oddities or to locate problem areas (such as sensitive teeth). Next, they will usually provide a fluoride rinse or paste, to bond to the newly cleaned teeth. Last, they will check for cavities visually or with newer technology that can penetrate deep into teeth. You’ll know about problem areas before they become a problem, which will save you a fortune in stress and dollars.
If you’d like to get the cleanest teeth imaginable while still getting bang for your buck, it’s recommended that you brush your teeth before going to the dentist so that they can really focus on all the hard-crusted plaque and problem areas that are exposed. While they are certainly there to clean your teeth and don’t mind scraping off gunk, they will be able to give you a lot more information if they are able to view the totality of your mouth and gums without having to wipe away cheese from your most recent pizza.
Use the Right Products at Home
Speaking of dental routine and dental health tips, do you have a good one? This means having a quality brush replaced every six months, and brushing with fluoride toothpaste that has anti-cavity qualities. An additional thing to remember is to floss as well. It’s easy to forget, but dentists harp on it for a reason: sugar, foodstuff, and bacteria hide between your teeth to create plaque and destroy your precious choppers. If you’re unsure about which routines you need to focus on most, ask your dentist to take a detailed look next time you’re in for a regular cleaning.
If you don’t like some of the conventional products that you’re supposed to use, remember that in this technological age you can upgrade. If you’re not a big fan of using floss, you can switch to a WaterPik, which uses jet streams of water to achieve the same goal. If you’re a lazy brusher, then get an electric toothbrush that “does the bushing for you” via vibrations, timed modes or some established routine. Dental health tips aren’t just about what you can do for yourself, but what quality products can help you achieve.
Diet: The Hidden Tooth Mangler
Using the right products at home doesn’t just end in the bathroom. It also means recognizing bad habits that don’t support your dental health and contribute to disease, such as drinking sugary sodas or eating lots of processed foods. You won’t find diet on any list for dental health tips, but it’s radically important to both preventing cavities and improving your overall dental health. You can even think of it as a form of insurance policy: eating better saves your teeth and makes you healthier, therefore saving you money on healthcare costs down the line. It’s almost like you earn money by being healthy!
There can even be hidden costs to eating “healthy food” like fruit or salted nuts if you don’t take care of your teeth. Fruit like pineapple and bananas are wonderful for you but contain high amounts of sugar that can end up rotting your teeth if you don’t take care of them. In a similar vein, nuts can be very healthy if unsalted or not coated with sugar, but detrimental otherwise. Processed foods like deli meats and candies should be avoided if possible simply for health reasons, but if you give yourself a good cleaning afterward there is probably not much harm. The real detriment is in the beverages you consume and other habits you indulge in.
Coffee is a wonderful elixir of modern life but will also stain your teeth. This is simply a fact that any dentist or cosmetic surgeon will confirm. As long as you’re drinking your coffee black (with no sugar, cream, or additives) then all you’ve got to worry about is the cosmetic imperfections, which are easily fixed with whitening strips or hydrogen peroxide treatments. But as soon as you add sugar, milk, and other things into your coffee not only are you on the train to a wild caffeine addiction, but you are going to wreak just as much havoc on your teeth as you would if you were drinking soda pop straight out of the fountain.
The reason that sugary beverages are so insidious, and why they are often listed in dental health tips as things to avoid, is because the sugar is literally able to get into the nooks and crannies of your mouth where it doesn’t belong. This can be hard to floss/brush out, and when it sits there long enough it will form cavities. Sugar-free beverages have their own health risks, and the only “safe” beverages for your teeth are those that are both nourishing and without sugar. Water is the best example, but coffee/tea without additives are acceptable. Fruit juices are fine in moderation but can pose the same problems as soda in the long run.
If Things Get Out of Control, Consult a Specialist
Alas, sometimes even the best dental health tips and tricks can’t prevent something bad from happening. Scientists are still trying to figure out whether some people are genetically prone to disease and dental issues that eventually require periodontal care, or whether it is all the result of what enters the mouth. Regardless of the cause, the resulting condition(s) is not fun at all and can be quite serious if not taken care of. If you happen to need oral surgery, root canals, or more serious dental care, do your research into anyone your dentist recommends. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, shop around for better service at lower prices, or simply get a second opinion.
Surgery always carries with it a degree of risk, even when it is limited to something like your teeth. It may seem like operating on your arm or leg is more important, but your teeth contain many sensitive nerves and blood vessels that lead to other areas of the body. Contamination in your mouth could result in blood poisoning or worse, and an infected jaw is not fun by any means. Always try and seek out a medically sterile environment when going in for any dental surgery procedure, and be well briefed on all the risks that could occur, if only for insurance purposes.
Cosmetic Dentistry and More
Cosmetic dental treatment used to be the domain of a minority of tooth owners, with braces being universally maligned as gaudy and tacky outerwear. That is no longer true, and braces are more common than ever and orthodontists are only happy to provide them. Even celebrities seek out cosmetic dentistry now, whether it’s to fix a gap tooth or keep them from chewing like a giraffe it’s no longer something to be ashamed of. There are many types of cosmetic dentistry other than wire braces, so you don’t have to look like an awkward teenager if you don’t want to.
Clear teeth straighteners emerged recently as an alternative replacement to braces, allowing you to keep the cosmetic look of clean teeth while actually straightening them at the same time. Once you have a mold of your teeth made, they will be crafted with clear material in order to straighten your teeth to where they are supposed to be instead of where they currently are.
Dental veneers occupy a similar space as straighteners, the only difference being the material they are made with. While providing the same function as clear teeth straighteners, veneers are sometimes made of porcelain and can be painted to look better than your regular teeth. They are not nearly as popular as they once were because of improvements in teeth straightening technology, but still work well for consumers that prefer them.
Take Care of Those Chompers, Unless You Want Dentures
It can be easy to fall into a routine where even the most basic dental health tips that you’ve absorbed into your life fall by the wayside. One day of eating your favorite sugary foods turns into three or four, and by the time you’re able to say “cavity” you might well be on your way to a full-blown ordeal. This is especially true when thinking about dental health care for kids, who are known to get into sweets and not let go! But with a little bit of monitoring and a dash of education, you can help instill lifelong habits that will actually pay dividends over time, if only in reduced dentist bills.
Remember that taking care of your mouth and teeth is also taking care of your body, and the benefits you reap up above will also translate down below. A healthy mind (and mouth) tend to work in tandem with everything else. You won’t read that in any dental health tips except for this one, so keep it close to your heart. Or perhaps blurt it out in public, so that everyone can finally see those shiny, pearly whites that you’ve worked so hard for.