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Dear Dentist, what do I need to do to protect my teeth?

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Home  /  Root Canal - Dental News  /  Dear Dentist, what do I need to do to protect my teeth?

Sometimes we can et confused by detail and forget the simple basics of how to look after our teeth. Here’s a quick refresher course on how to keep you pearly whites exactly as you like them.

Good dental hygiene is like motherhood and apple pie – everyone’s in favour of it. But if you probe a bit deeper, you’ll often find that some people are a tad vague on what exactly they need to be doing on a daily basis to maintain their smile.

We’re not going to sugar-coat things for you – it takes a bit of time and effort to look after your dental health. But the payback you can get is a lifetime of service from your teeth, with your only visits to the dentist being for your regular checkups.

And when you think of all you put your teeth through each day, surely it makes senses that you have to give a little back? Tour teeth and gums are in almost constant use: biting, chewing, sucking on sweets, acting as a scissors – the list is endless.

If you’re one of those afore-mentioned people who needs a quick reminder of what to do to preserve the smile that God gave you, then here’s a quick list that you can treat as ‘gospel’.

  • Brush in the morning and in the evening. It would be great if you got to brush after every meal of the day, but as a minimum, we strongly recommend that you always insist on brushing at least twice. Bacteria multiplies at a frightening rate in your mouth, and if left unchecked, it can lead to all sorts of problems with your teeth and gums. By brushing last thing at night, you’re getting rid of the build-up of the day, and making sure that they’re not present in huge numbers while you sleep. And if you can brush after your breakfast, those pesky bacteria don’t have a head-start as you start your day.
  • Choose a toothpaste with fluoride. You won’t even taste it or notice it in any way, so why not use a toothpaste that has the added benefit of extra fluoride. Your teeth will thank you for it in the long run.
  • Check your toothbrush every few months. The bristles in your toothbrush can take a fair amount of use, but eventually, wear and tar simply minimise their efficiency. Make it your business to check your toothbrush every couple of months, and replace it immediately if it’s looking jaded and faded. You should also be aware that your toothbrush can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so if you’ve been ill, maybe it’s time to get a new one?
  • Bacteria love your tongue. Your tongue is warm and moist – the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Don’t neglect it when it comes to brushing your teeth – even a normal toothbrush can remove a lot of bacteria if you use it regularly on your tongue.
  • Don’t forget to floss or use interdental brushes. Most of us have a tooth/gum structure that provides lots of lovely hiding places for food particles or bacteria. To remove these nasties, you really have to use either dental floss or interdental brushes. If using interdental brushes, make sure that they’re snug enough to remove any unwanted elements, but not so tight that they cause bleeding.
  • Don’t forget you dentures. If you wear dentures, you should

remove them at night and give them a thorough cleaning the next morning before they’re put back in your mouth.

  • Don’t put off that regular checkup. No matter how busy your

life is, don’t neglect those regular dental checkups. If you do it every six months or so, you’ll save yourself a whole pile of grief, as your dentist can spot potential problems before they become a big deal.

  • Quit the fags. If this was your New Year’s resolution and you’ve

failed, then why not start again. It will make a massive difference to your oral health = not to mention the benefits to your lungs – if you can kick tobacco out of your life. Also, you’ll save yourself an absolute fortune. If you’re a twenty-a-day smoker, you’re looking at over three and a half grand a year!

  • Flush away bacteria. Drinking lots of water each day has lots of health benefits – including helping weight loss – but it will also work wonders in helping to wash away bacteria that’s accumulating in your mouth.

Prevention costs less than cure

If you add up the financial cost of all the above elements, they actually come to very little. Counterpoint that with a root canal treatment cost, for example, and you can see how much more expensive neglect can be.

And remember, too, that if you’re shelling out on a root canal cost, this probably isn’t a matter of simple bad luck. Much more likely, it’s been the result of years or even decades of neglect.

So why not make this the day that you re-commit to giving your teeth the break they deserve? And as you’re already reading this article online, you might be glad to hear that there’s an absolute goldmine of information out there on the internet in terms of how to treat your dental care regime as a non-negotiable part of your everyday life.

Here’s a great place to start – the famous Mayo Clinic – http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20045536