Preventing Dental Problems Before They Start
At Comfort Care Family Dental, we encourage all our Naperville patients to come in for regular cleanings and checkups. We also understand you’d much prefer it if those were only times you needed to come in and see us. In other words, you hope you never have any actual dental problems.
Happily, there’s a lot you can do yourself in the service of the prevention of oral health problems. Here are some tips that can do wonders when it comes to the prevention of dental diseases.
Preventing Dental Problems by Brushing and Flossing
Brushing your teeth gets rid of bacteria and germs that could otherwise cause cavities and gum disease. Here’s an effective routine:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Brush for two minutes each time.
- Brush your tongue also.
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride.
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush.
- Be sure to brush in the morning to get rid of the plaque that accumulates as you sleep. The plaque promotes the growth of bacteria that cause halitosis.
- If you have coffee in the morning, wait for 30 minutes before you brush. There’s a lot of acid in coffee, and because there is, brushing too soon after you have that morning cup can weaken tooth enamel.
- No matter how diligently you brush, you may leave some food particles between your teeth and along the gum line. Flossing will get rid of them.
Preventing Dental Problems by Not Overdoing Brushing
Important as brushing is, you can have too much of a good thing. Excessive brushing can wear away tooth enamel, which is exactly what you don’t want. To avoid this, make sure you do the following:
- Don’t brush too many times a day. Your dentist can advise you on how many times is too many.
- Don’t brush for longer than four minutes at a time.
- Don’t brush too hard. This can damage your teeth and your gums as well. If the gym tissue supporting a tooth becomes weak, it provides a pathway for bacteria o get into the tooth.
Preventing Dental Problems by Paying Attention to Your Diet
It’s not unlikely that your mother warned you that certain foods were bad for your teeth, and it turns out Mom was absolutely right. There are foods likely to produce dental problems. For the prevention of oral health problems, it’s helpful to know what these foods are, and, even if you don’t avoid them entirely, at least be moderate in your consumption.
- Soda and other sugary beverages break down tooth enamel. This can cause cavities and other dental issues. Unfortunately, even diet soda can cause you problems.
- Candy has the same effects. Additionally, sticky candies like dried fruit, suckers, and gummies take longer to eat and stick to your teeth longer, giving bacteria and acid from the candy more of an opportunity to do damage. So if you’re concerned with the prevention of dental diseases, these candies are especially bad choices.
- Clearly, the common thread here is sugar. Be wary of sweets in general.
Preventing Dental Problems by Eliminating Bad Habits
There are certain habits that can get in the way of preventing dental problems, generally by exerting unnecessary stress and pressure on the teeth. These include the following:
- Chewing on ice or other hard objects like pencils.
- Grinding your teeth. Tooth grinding can occur either when you’re awake or when you’re asleep. If it happens when you’re awake, you may not be conscious that you’re doing it, but even then, your dentist, possibly in consultation with a behavioral therapist or some other healthcare professional, can help you correct the habit. If you’re grinding your teeth while you sleep, your dentist may recommend a mouth guard.
Here at our Naperville office, we welcome any and all questions about techniques for preventing dental problems. We’re here to help you.