Our last baby teeth typically fall out somewhere between the age of nine and 12. The adult teeth that grow in their place should last our entire lives. However, bacteria that naturally occurs in our mouths, other environmental factors, and personal habits can cause cavities to form, plaque to develop, and decay that can eventually break down the teeth. When a tooth begins to decay, it could mean tooth replacement is necessary. When this happens, make sure you contact North Shore Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. Our dental experts can ensure a smooth procedure, and we will give you the best options regarding replacement. Even though we will be more than happy to ensure that you are taken care of, we also want to avoid tooth replacement by preventing decay in the first place. Here are some of our top tips.
Brush, Brush, Brush
Whenever you visit a dentist, they will surely ask you if you have been brushing regularly. They will probably also recommend that you brush your teeth after every meal. To remove any developing plaque, brush with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Get in the habit of flossing as well. This can clean and remove any food that has been lodged in between the teeth. If you can’t brush and floss after eating, try to clean your pearly whites at least twice a day.
When you simply can’t brush, try to at least rinse with a mouthwash that has fluoride in it. This is especially important if you are more susceptible to cavities. By making the tooth more resistant to acid, fluoride can prevent tooth decay and eventual tooth replacement.
Skip the Snacking
When you can avoid unnecessary snacking, your teeth will thank you. When we are constantly consuming sugary drinks and snacks, bacteria in our mouths will continue to feed off of the sugars and carbs. This can lead to your mouth producing acid that eats away at the enamel of your teeth. When you do have a snack throughout the day, be sure to have a large glass of water while eating so you can take sips after each bite.
This will benefit your teeth as well as your waistline. It might not be surprising that the foods you eat can affect not only your body’s health, but your oral health as well. Try to avoid foods that are more likely to get stuck in between your teeth, like sticky candies, chips, or cookies. Keep in mind that even your “healthy” bottle of orange juice probably has a significant amount of sugar and acid that are not good for your teeth. So watch out for foods and drinks that look healthy but contain a lot of sugar. When possible, stick to fresh fruits and vegetables that will naturally increase the saliva in your mouth, which will work to break down foods stuck in your teeth.
Regular Dental Visits
This is one of the best ways to keep your mouth clean and healthy. A regular, six-month checkup and cleaning can go a long way in preventing decay and tooth replacement. A dental professional will be able to spot troublesome areas and offer advice on how to keep plaque at bay and prevent decay.
Just like eating healthy, by giving up smoking, your whole body will be healthier, not just your teeth. Cigarettes contain tar, ammonia, chloroform, carbon monoxide, nicotine, and many other dangerous ingredients. All of these chemicals can have a huge impact on your teeth over time. Bacteria can develop faster, gums will recede, and the chemicals can even affect the tooth below the gum line. If you can’t quit completely, even cutting back on cigarettes can have a positive effect on the health of your teeth.
Teeth can be something that we take for granted, until something bad happens. Even a small cavity or chip can give us a wake up call that tells us to take better care of our teeth. Making small changes like drinking more water while we eat can help prevent decay and eventual tooth replacement. If you are guilty of consuming sugary foods and snacks, or if you only brush your teeth once a day, it’s time to think about what could happen in the future. If it does come to it, be sure you have a trustworthy and reliable team work on your teeth. Give North Shore Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in Buffalo Grove today.