Preventative Dentistry: 4 Tips for Taking Care of Your Teeth
Having healthy teeth is about more than just a great smile; caring for your teeth and gums is a vital part of your body’s overall health. Preventative dental care, which is basically all the things you should do daily to care for your teeth and gums, will help keep your smile healthy and bright as well as save you money. Even good dental insurance plans may require copays for corrective procedures or full payment for those who exceed their annual maximum coverage. Even with insurance, a root canal can cost the patient up to $700 dollars out-of-pocket; a cavity may cost up to $100 per filling. If you don’t care for your teeth, these costs can quickly add up. However, just like diet and exercise are recommended for your body’s health, there are several steps you can take to prevent cavities, gum disease, enamel damage, and bad breath.
- Brush: While this may seem obvious, brushing your teeth one to two times daily with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste will greatly reduce the probability of future dental problems. Daily brushing is a habit that begins at an early age, so teaching your children the benefits of frequently brushing their teeth is probably the most important step you can take to ensure their dental health.
- Floss: Used properly, dental floss can clean the places that a toothbrush can’t. The back-and-forth scraping motion will not harm the hard enamel of teeth but will break up plaque, a job a toothbrush may not be strong enough to do. Ideally, you should floss once a day but at a minimum, once a week. In addition to flossing, adding a mouth wash that targets cavities and strengthens enamel to your dental routine will also help keep teeth strong and healthy.
- Proper Diet: This is the one step most people don’t consider when thinking about their dental health. However, just like those sugary sodas and high acid foods are bad for your body, they’re also bad for your teeth. Limit the intake of high sugar foods like candy and soda, as well as high acid foods like pickles, fruit, and honey. While some of these high acid foods are good for your daily diet (like fruit), they’re bad for your teeth and should be swallowed quickly so that the acids in the food do not remain in contact with teeth for too long. A bad diet can affect your teeth as much as not brushing or flossing. Discoloration, sensitivity, and cracked teeth are just a few of the problems that can result from a bad diet.
- Dentist Visits: Regular visits to the dentist can ensure that all the preventative steps you’re taking to care for your teeth are working. Plus, even if you do everything you’re supposed to and you’re teeth look great, regular cleanings by a licensed professional will ensure that your teeth are as strong and healthy as they should be.