A Guide to Healthy Teeth for Life
Having a great looking set of teeth says a lot about you and people will notice. Although you certainly want great teeth, it is not going to happen by accident. While there may be some setbacks requiring dental care, you can have great teeth, but it will take some work and consistency.
Keys for Healthy Teeth
There are several things you need to do – and some things you need to avoid to keep your teeth looking good. They include:
Brushing twice a day – every time you brush your teeth, you should take at least two minutes to do it. This will help you get all the surfaces of your teeth. Wait about 30 minutes after eating acidic foods or drinks to avoid damaging your tooth enamel.
Floss daily – flossing removes the food particles, bacteria, and acid from between your teeth that the toothbrush misses.
Use toothpaste with fluoride – this kind of toothpaste helps to protect your teeth against the bacteria and acid that is constantly in your mouth. Children under two should not use it.
Use a mouthwash – mouthwashes can help your teeth in several ways. It will reduce the bacteria in your mouth and the acid that they produce. It will also help to remineralize your teeth with the minerals it needs to keep your teeth strong, and it will freshen your breath.
Reduce acidic foods and drinks – many drinks today are highly acidic – even natural juices. Citric fruit juices are highly acidic and rank in pH levels only a little above soda. Diet sodas are also acidic and the acid will only add to the damage caused by the natural acid in your mouth.
Cut back on sugary foods and drinks – every time you eat sugar, the bacteria in your mouth turn it into acid. In fact, they will do so for the next 20 minutes after each sip or bite of sugary food. If you tend to sip on sweetened coffees, fruit juices, flavored water, or energy drinks through the day, you are destroying your tooth enamel fast with all the acid.
Drink more water – reduce your intake of diuretics such as coffee and alcohol and drink more water instead. It is better for your health and will enable you to have more saliva. Saliva helps keep the bacteria under control by washing it away with the acid – protecting your teeth. A dry mouth enables it to grow out of control, producing cavities and gum disease faster.
Quit smoking – tobacco of any kind is bad for your teeth and gums. It reduces the flow of blood in your gums, which causes reduced nutrition and a weaker immune system in your gums. The cells in your gums will start dying off causing them to recede. Smoking will also significantly raise your risk of oral cancer, and it will hinder the effectiveness of treatment for gum disease.
Avoid drinking dark liquids – these liquids will stain your teeth, making them look darker – and you will look older as a result. Dark liquids, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and colas, will all stain your teeth. You can keep them looking whiter longer if you avoid these liquids, or at least swish your mouth out with water after consuming them.
Whiten your teeth – you can get teeth whitening from the dentist that will make them really white again. This will be much whiter than you can get from a kit at the store – possibly up to six shades whiter in just one appointment.
Make regular dental visits – getting regular dental cleanings will protect your teeth more because the dentist can spot problems as they get started. This means less cost for you overall and your teeth and gums stay in better shape.
Getting Great Teeth
If you do not have great teeth now, the dentist can help you. There are many tools in the dentist's toolbox of cosmetic dentistry to give you an amazing smile.
A dentist can replace missing teeth, fix crooked teeth, place dental veneers on your teeth making them look perfect, and repair chipped teeth. Instead of getting dentures that may slip and cause problems when you eat or talk, dental implants are rigid and will not slip. They also are the best type of tooth replacement that is the closest to your natural teeth.
While you are working to keep your teeth looking great, be sure to help your children do the same. They also need dental care to ensure that their teeth stay healthy and come in straight.
Keeping your teeth healthy involves more than just avoiding sugary drinks or flavored water. Getting regular dental care and teeth cleanings for better dental health will enable your dentist to spot cavities when they start and be treated quickly. If you have cavities or gum disease, Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist, can help you. He provides oral health care for the whole family and can help them keep their smile. His offices are in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas and nearly all dental insurance plans are accepted. For a consultation or dental checkup, you can contact his office today at (817) 756-8578.