Your Guide To Taking Better Care of Your Teeth

Your teeth are some of the most crucial parts of your body’s amazing ecosystem. Teeth enable you both to talk and eat delicious food and are essential to your wellbeing. Not only this, but your teeth are critical for you your beautiful smile! Taking good care of your teeth is a practice most people have instilled in them from a very young age. However, many people fall back on these essential habits once life gets in the way. Here is a comprehensive guide on taking care of your precious teeth!

Image by Alexandr Ivanov from Pixabay

What Can Damage My Teeth?

There are the obvious factors that can damage your teeth – lack of brushing and excessive sugar consumption are the key factors we all know well! But what else can damage your teeth?

  • Accidents. Of course, having accidents such as car accidents, trips, slips and falls can damage your teeth. Broken teeth are extremely painful and require immediate medical care to repair the damage.
  • Sports. If you play a ball sport such as lacrosse, tennis or hockey, or if you play a contact sport, you may be at risk of damaging your teeth. Sports are intense, and if you aren’t careful, you can have your teeth chipped or knocked clean out during a game. 
  • Smoking. Smoking causes terrible damage to your teeth. Not only is your chance of contracting oral cancer increased significantly by smoking, but smoking also causes your teeth to blacken due to the tar intake from cigarettes.
  • Eating tough foods. Foods such as hard cookies, sweets, apples, carrots, and other solid foods can be tough on your teeth. If your teeth are already weakened or damaged, you can break your teeth on these foods. This sounds implausible but is actually very common! If you have crowns or veneers fitted, these are especially sensitive to hard foods.
  • Unhealthy gums. Gum disease is prevalent around the world and is due to the gums being ignored as an essential composite of tooth care. Plaque, the hard, brown buildup that occurs on your teeth when you don’t brush or floss enough, can wear away your gum’s protection and let in bacteria. This causes gum disease, also known as gingivitis, and can be painful, as well as cause tooth loss. 
  • Alcohol. Alcoholic drinks often contain a high sugar percentage which can, as everybody knows, damage your teeth over time. However, alcohol itself also damages the teeth by dehydrating your mouth, causing less saliva flow to the teeth area. Saliva keeps your teeth hydrated and healthy, as well as being an antibacterial essential to prevent disease. If a lot of alcohol is consumed over time, this can increase your chance of bacteria buildup and potential damage. Around 70% of those diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers; alcohol poses a serious health risk to your oral health.
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth. These are habits that are formed over time and are usually done when you are asleep. Grinding your teeth can wear down your teeth over time and cause nerve damage. Clenching your jaw during sleep or absentmindedly while you’re awake can put pressure on your teeth and harm the nerves in your teeth over time!
  • Skipping the flossing. Flossing is, let’s face it, not something we all do twice a day. Flossing your teeth is not something your dentist insists on for the sake of it – it’s actually essential for good tooth health. The tiny gaps between your teeth can have plaque buildup and eventually damage your gums and teeth. 

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Common Signs Of Bad Tooth Health

There are ways to tell if your teeth are suffering from a disease or general poor health. Here’s how to tell if you need to take better care of your teeth!

  • Bad breath. Everybody gets bad breath in the morning, or perhaps after multiple coffees during working hours! However, if you have consistent mouth odor, even after brushing, there may be something wrong. Persistent bad breath can be a sign there is a buildup of plaque or other bacteria in your mouth. 
  • Pain. If one or more of your teeth is causing pain when you chew or talk or constant, chronic pain, you know something is damaged or wrong. It could be a cracked or broken tooth, or an infection in your mouth causing pain. 
  • Bleeding gums. If your gums begin bleeding often, something is wrong. Sometimes, if people have not flossed regularly, a small amount of blood can be drawn when they begin flossing. This is normal and should stop after a few days. However, if the bleeding is consistent, you may have infected or damaged teeth or gums.
  • Browning or blackening teeth. If your teeth are going black or brown, this can be due to many factors. If you smoke, it is likely that the tar you have consumed will contribute to discoloration. Otherwise, generally poor oral hygiene can result in discolored teeth.

Helpful Tips For Taking Good Care Of Your Teeth!

  1. Taking The Time

Of course, the easiest way to take good care of your teeth is to brush and floss twice a day. Brushing your teeth with a manual or electric toothbrush for two minutes in the morning and evening, and flossing your teeth after each brush, will lay the foundations for great oral health! Some people scrimp and cut corners on the time they take to brush their teeth – this can be damaging to your oral hygiene and health. Take the time to brush properly and you’ll thank yourself later.

  1. Regular Dental Visits

Visiting the dentist can be expensive, but in the long run, it is a vital investment for your oral health. Even if your teeth seem fine, your dentist can identify problems which you will have missed. Plus, they can recommend treatments, toothpastes and helpful practices which strengthen your teeth further.

  1. Water Flossing

Water flossers are becoming more and more popular in recent years – and there’s a reason why. Water flossing is a new form of flossing, which uses a hard, thin stream of water spraying directly between your teeth. Think of a power hose – for your teeth. These are environmentally friendly, easy to use, and extremely effective in keeping your teeth and gums spic and span.

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  1. Healthy diet.

Of course, a healthy diet that does not involve heavy drinking or large sugar intake is helpful. Different foods have different effects on your oral health. As a young person, you may feel invincible, assuming your teeth will stay healthy because they feel fine. However as aging sets in, your teeth will demand more attention and require better care. Try to set in good habits to your routine while your teeth are healthy, and you’ll be able to prolong your tooth health for longer.

  1. Vitamins.

Taking vitamins to supplement your diet is always useful – but many don’t realize that certain vitamins are essential to your teeth. Vitamin C in particular helps to strengthen your teeth and bones; Vitamin D and Calcium are also essential for your teeth to remain strong and healthy for all your life. 

  1. Protecting your teeth.

When playing contact sports, it is important you wear a gum shield, or gum guard. These can be fitted by a dentist, or you can buy a self-moulding guard which you can fit at home. These don’t guarantee 100% safety, but they take impact and can protect your teeth from breakage or cracking in the event of a collision. Gum shields absorb the shock of the contact, and prevent excruciating accidents from occurring.

  1. Sleep Guards

If you clench or grind your teeth in your sleep, you can ask your dentist about a sleep guard. These are softer versions of a sports gum shield, which protect your teeth when you grind or clench in your sleep. They are soft and malleable and act as a protective layer between your top and bottom teeth, to prevent further damage to the enamel and nerves of your teeth!

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What To Do If You’re Worried About Your Oral Health

If you are concerned about symptoms of poor oral health, you should schedule a visit to your dentist. Seeking immediate help is the best course of action, even if you feel like everything is probably fine. It is better to catch a problem early, because there will likely be a less painful and expensive recovery period in this case. Do not leave the problem to rest until the pain is unbearable – seek help early.

Conclusion

In this day and age, it’s easy to become lazy and slack on oral healthcare. However, with technology, availability of treatments and endless information, you will find it easier than ever to shape up your tooth care routine and invest in your oral health – for the present, and for the future.

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