As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Taking the time to prevent health issues before they start is often much more effective than treating an issue once it’s developed.
It’s true for your overall health — and your oral health. Neglecting oral hygiene can lead to various dental problems, from cavities to tooth loss.
Fortunately, there are simple, effective ways to prevent oral health problems and maintain a healthier smile. Aditi Saxena, DDS, Viridiana Wheeler, DDS, and our team at Austin Advanced Dentistry can help you do that.
Here are four of our favorite ways to protect oral health at every age.
Good oral health starts with good oral hygiene. Oral hygiene includes brushing and flossing your teeth daily to remove food particles, bacteria, and plaque.
Try brushing your teeth at least twice daily using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Ensure you brush for two minutes, covering all surfaces of your teeth, including the back molars and gumline.
Along with brushing, floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing removes plaque and food particles between your teeth and along your gum line, where toothbrush bristles can’t reach.
Consider using interdental cleaners, like dental picks or water flossers, if traditional flossing is challenging. Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles fade or fray.
Did you know the food you eat plays a significant role in your oral health? Certain foods and drinks promote healthier teeth, while others accelerate tooth decay.
Limit your consumption of sugary and acidic foods and beverages, like soda, for optimal oral health. These things contribute to tooth decay and enamel erosion, mainly if you don’t practice good oral hygiene.
Instead, opt for a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. These foods provide essential nutrients that promote strong teeth and healthy gums.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day, too. Water helps wash away food particles and neutralizes acids in your mouth, reducing your risk of cavities.
Accidents happen, but it’s essential to take precautions to protect your teeth from injury whenever you can.
Wear a mouthguard if you play sports or engage in activities that pose a risk of dental trauma. A custom-fitted mouthguard from the dentist offers the best protection because it provides a comfortable and secure fit.
In everyday life, avoid using your teeth to open packages or bite into hard objects. Be mindful of harmful habits like nail-biting or teeth grinding because they can increase your risk of dental problems over time.
Last but not least, go to the dentist regularly. Professional dental check-ups are crucial for preventing oral health problems, regardless of age.
Schedule dental cleanings every six months or as needed. During these visits, we thoroughly examine your teeth, gums, and oral tissues. We look for signs of decay, gum disease, or other dental issues.
Along with your exam, we thoroughly clean your teeth. We remove plaque and tartar buildup that you can’t remove with regular brushing and flossing alone. We can also provide personalized recommendations and guidance to address any specific concerns you have about your oral health.
Remember, oral health is an integral part of your overall well-being, and you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of preventive care to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Is it time to schedule your next dental cleaning?
Book an appointment online or call our Austin, Texas, office at 512-331-6677 to get started.