It goes without saying that your teeth are a precious resource and are always worth saving; that’s why May is National Save Your Tooth Month, and the best way to celebrate is to make sure your teeth don’t need to be saved in the first place! Good preventive dentistry and at-home care can help prevent dental damage and ensure that your teeth last as long as possible. Here are some suggestions your dentist may make for protecting your smile.
Always Remember to Brush and Floss
It’s repeated so often it’s practically cliché, but it’s vital to brush and floss at least twice a day to prevent tooth decay. The brushing technique can make a big difference; during your regular checkups, your dentist can check for plaque buildup and identify areas you need to focus on brushing. If you have trouble reaching certain areas in your mouth with traditional flossing, try other methods such as interdental brushes and water-picks.
Protect Your Teeth From Physical Damage
Teeth grinding is a bad habit that can wear down teeth; unfortunately, it often happens involuntarily at night, which is a condition called bruxism. Obviously, you can’t control your mouth while you’re sleeping, but you can use a nightguard to protect your teeth from damage.
Similarly, your pearly whites need to be protected from outside trauma. This is particularly common during sports, especially games like football where physical contact is regularly expected. Thus, you should always wear a sports guard before heading out onto the field.
Watch What You Eat and Drink
Acidic drinks like soda and fruit juice can wear down your tooth enamel and cause cavities. Sugary foods such as candy are another major cause of tooth decay as well; bacteria eat the sugar and secrete acids as a result. Be sure to limit your intake of these types of food and drinks.
Keep Up Your Regular Dental Visits
Making sure that you see your dentist at least twice a year is a vital part of oral health. In addition to routine cleanings, your dentist can also examine your mouth for potential issues and can often prescribe treatments that can stop problems before they advance too far.
Dental Emergency? Get Professional Help as Soon as Possible!
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the worst can happen in your mouth. If you have a toothache or other worrisome symptoms, make an appointment as soon as possible. Your dentist will determine the best form of treatment, such as a root canal for an infected tooth; treatments like this can mean the difference between keeping and losing a part of your smile.
Of course, good oral hygiene requires a lot more attention than just one month. A dental emergency can happen anytime, so you should always be vigilant. Ask questions at your dental appointments and make adjustments to your routine where you need to. If you think something is wrong, don’t wait too long before seeking help. Make every month Save Your Tooth Month!