Taking care of your teeth

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Teeth are the only part of your body that don’t heal, so it’s crucial that you look after the set you have! If you take care of your teeth, they’ll take care of you. Healthy teeth help you with chewing, speaking clearly and looking your best.

Looking after your teeth, gums and overall oral health can prevent systemic disease, infection, pain and sickness as well as keeping your mouth looking good and smelling fresh.

Dental decay is the most common issue affecting teeth, but it can be prevented with proper care. Decay is caused by bacteria found in plaque – the sticky film that forms on teeth. Bacteria in the plaque convert sugars from the diet into acids which can erode and create holes in teeth. Every time you eat sugary food, teeth are attacked by acid for up to an hour.

Dental decay undermines the structure of the tooth, weakening the outer layers and eventually infecting the nerve. If caught early, restorative dentistry can help correct the issues, but if not the tooth may need to be extracted and then replaced entirely. The best way to prevent dental decay is to take preventative measures such as regular visits to a dentist and dental hygienist combined with continuously looking after your teeth.

How can I look after my teeth?

Maintain good oral hygiene

This includes brushing your teeth twice a day and ensuring you floss at least once a day. Frequency is important, but technique may be even more so. Your dentist or dental hygienist should ensure your technique is correct. Using a fluoride-based toothpaste will also help avoid the buildup of plaque.

Eat a healthy diet

Avoiding food and beverages with a high sugar content can help lessen the acidic attack on your tooth. Try swapping sugary snacks for those with less sugar, such as cheese, nuts and celery and limit the frequency of sugary drinks such as soft drinks and juice.

Drink plenty of tap water

Fluoride can be found in tap water and helps reduce the amount of tooth decay. Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel and makes it more resistant to decay.

Protect your teeth

If you’re planning on playing contact sports, ensure you have a professionally-fitted mouth guard to protect your teeth from bumps and falls. Dental trauma can result in a lifetime of tooth issues and thousands of dollars in restorative bills.

Visit your dentist regularly

Annual check-ups at the dentist are an important part of maintaining dental health. These checkups will ensure any dental health issues are caught early, enabling preventative and restorative dentistry. In addition, your dental professional can check that you are doing the right thing at home to look after and prevent dental decay and gum disease.

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