When asking about life lessons of the previous generations, one of the most common responses is, “Take care of your teeth.” Once you grow into adult chompers, they are your only pair. While many animals in the wild will continually grow and replace their teeth throughout their lifetime, you have your one and only adult set, which means you need to do what you can to protect and care for them. Yes, there are dental cosmetic procedures available in which you can improve and alter the look of your existing teeth.
Anything from veneers to implants gives you the power to always have a beautiful smile, but these methods can prove costly, not to mention you still need to take care of whatever alterations are made. In short, taking care of your natural teeth is always best. To help, here are several top dental habits you need to practice to help save your natural teeth.
Brush (At Least) Twice a Day
You’ve been taught this since you were a child, but brushing your teeth twice a day is incredibly important. Brushing your teeth in the morning and just before bed will help prevent the build-up of plaque and other germs waiting to attack your teeth and gums. If you have a snack at night, make sure to brush your teeth after that final snack. While you sleep is when much of the destruction of your teeth occurs. Your mouth is warm and moist, making it the perfect location for bacteria to fester.
Now, we’re not going to tell you not to brush after lunch. It’s an excellent way to keep your breath fresh and your mouth clean. Sometimes it’s a challenge to keep a toothbrush and toothpaste inside your office or business, but if you can, brushing after lunch is a fantastic idea (and it helps kill that coffee breath).
It would help if you also focused on not only brushing your teeth but your tongue as well. A dirty tongue is often the main culprit of bad breath, and bacteria can fester here because it isn’t brushed as often as your teeth. Spend time on your tongue.
You need to floss at least once a day. Flossing before you go to bed is the best time to do so you don’t have bits of food debris stuck between your teeth. There’s nothing wrong with flossing more than once a day, but make sure to do it at least one time.
Wear a Mouthguard
If you partake in any sporting activity where there’s a chance for your face to be struck, we highly recommend wearing a mouth guard. Contact sports like football and hockey are a given, but we suggest wearing a mouthguard for sports like soccer and basketball as well. An elbow to the mouth can cause real dental damage. We’ve seen our share of root canals that stem from this kind of injury.
Make sure to reform your mouthguard every few weeks. If you (or your kids) are like many others who wear mouthguards, there is likely some chewing of the guard that goes on, which can alter the form-fit of it. Thankfully, mouthguards are very reasonably priced. You don’t need anything fancy, and those mouthguards with shock absorbers are more designed to increase your price tag than do anything all that beneficial. If NFL players can wear the basic, inexpensive mouthguards, you know it’s good enough for your recreational league game.
Few things cause the kind of damage to your mouth and teeth as smoking. Your mouth is the starting point for any type of tobacco use, so it will see a large brunt of the damage. Beyond staining your teeth, it will damage your lips, gums, and mouth’s interior. It would be best to give up smoking to protect and prolong your original teeth. This means cigarettes, cigars, and dip. With dip, you will keep tobacco packed against your gum, which is about as damaging to your mouth as you can get. So do your mouth, teeth, and overall health a favor and quit.
Watch What You Eat
There are different foods you need to be mindful of. For starters, go easy on the sugar. This isn’t to say you can’t enjoy the occasional hot fudge Sundae or Pop-Tart but don’t overdo it. Sugar will eat away your teeth faster than anything else (make sure to brush following any sugar consumption).
As you age, you should avoid eating anything complicated. Nuts and unpopped popcorn kernels can shatter teeth as quickly as a baseball.
Regular Dental Visits
You need to visit your primary dentist every six months or so. This way, you can have your teeth professionally cleaned, and you can get a jump on anything terrible going on in your mouth.
Schedule An Endodontic Consultation Today
You will spend most of your time with your primary dentist. They will help you protect your teeth and perform basic procedures, such as removing cavities and cleaning your teeth of plaque. They will send you to an orthodontist if you need to straighten your teeth. On the other hand, if you have sustained some trauma to the interior of your teeth, they will recommend you see an endodontist specialist.
At Southern Endodontic Specialists, we specialize in everything from root canals to endodontic care to save your original teeth.
If you believe you need a root canal, have experienced some kind of trauma to your teeth, or your general dentist has recommended visiting us, make sure to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. Whether you give us a call or fill out an appointment request form on our website, our team here at Southern Endodontic Specialists is here to serve.