If you visit numerous dental sites or see commercials for dental products on TV, it may seem like all dentistry is fixing things. As a dentist, I’m proud to offer solutions that make patients feel better and restore function. That makes me feel amazing, but I also feel amazing when I can work with a patient to help them prevent needing major dental treatments or restorative dental treatments.
Don’t get me wrong, we can do wonderful things today. We can radically move teeth and even give patients revolutionary tools to replace missing or failing teeth. The modern age of dentistry is truly fantastic, and you should have a deep comfort in knowing that there are minimally invasive treatments for virtually all of your dental problems. But we, of course, hope it never comes to this. Today I have a few tips you can follow to give yourself a better chance of avoiding advanced restorative treatments.
1. Brush teeth for about two minutes. You can effectively brush your teeth if you brush for two minutes. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, most people do not brush long enough. In fact, we brush for about half the recommended time. To clean your teeth effectively, brush for two minutes and reach every corner of your mouth. Also, don’t forget to floss your teeth. Flossing helps reduce the risk of gum disease and dental decay.
2. Steer clear of soda. Soda contains high levels of sugar that can develop plaque or harmful acids. The acids then eat away at your tooth enamel to cause decay. While no soda is good for your teeth, a recent study found that certain sodas are more likely to cause tooth than others. Non-cola beverages like Sprite and Sierra Mist contain high levels of citric acid, a substance that can damage tooth enamel. If you do drink soda, try not to sip on soda all day. Also, rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth afterward.
3. Wear a mouthguard. This applies to athletes and even you weekend warriors out there. The mouthguard helps distribute any impact that reaches the teeth, reducing the risk of tooth damage or teeth being knocked out. Our office can design a custom mouthguard for you or your children to wear while playing sports. A custom mouthguard will fit perfectly over your teeth. Our mouthguards fit snuggly, which makes them more effective and efficient than over-the-counter, boil-and-bite mouthguards.
4. Consider using fluoride treatments. Dentists have found that fluoride treatments can help reduce the risk of tooth decay. Most municipalities have fluoridated water, but it’s possible you do not have access to fluoride. We typically recommend fluoride treatments for patients who are prone to cavities or do not have access to fluoride. These treatments are especially good if you have deep grooves or fissures in your teeth — areas where dental decay loves to form.
5. Chew on sugar-free gums. Chewing on sugar-free gum can help increase the saliva levels in the mouth. The gum can help remove food debris and then fight off harmful plaque in the mouth. The important thing to remember here is that the gum needs to be sugar free. The last thing most of us need is to subject our teeth to more sugar.
These are just a few easy tips to follow. The best part is that these dental tips are in your hands. You don’t have to visit the dentist or undergo extensive treatments. These tips are low cost and can help you avoid expensive treatments down the road.
Of course, while all of these tips help, visiting the dentist twice a year is key to your oral health journey. If you’re due for a cleaning and exam, call our office today at 248-972-8720.