Everyone wants their smile to last, but sometimes we fall into bad habits and risk permanent damage to our teeth. Following some simple rules and avoiding bad habits can help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful for a lifetime.
One – Diligent At-Home Care
Don’t: Skip a brushing or flossing – The plaque on teeth can turn to tartar in as little as 24 hours. Leaving plaque on teeth also allows bacteria to spread, increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Slacking on your home oral hygiene routine also leads to the discoloration of teeth and bad breath.
Do: Brush in the morning and before bedtime, and floss daily. Add an extra brushing after consuming foods high in sugar or carbohydrates. To prevent a missed brushing or flossing when away from home, keep a toothbrush in your car and at school or place of work.
Two – Visit a Professional
Don’t: Forget to see your dentist twice per year – Regular dental visits are essential to maintaining a healthy smile. It is at these appointments that your dentist can find early signs of decay and treat emerging issues. Your teeth need professional cleaning at least once per year to remove the stubborn tartar that harbors harmful bacteria. Missed dental visits invariably lead to dental emergencies or complex problems that may require more invasive procedures to correct.
Do: Set reminders every six months to schedule your dental appointment. Help yourself remember to make your oral health a priority by creating reminders that activate twice a year. Communicate with your dentist and let him know about any concerns you have, even if they seem minor to you. If you have crowded teeth, your dentist may suggest orthodontic treatment. This is always a good idea, as a straighter smile is a healthier one.
Three – Protect Your Smile
Don’t: Participate in sports without wearing a mouthguard. – Injuries to the teeth are common and can usually be avoided by protecting them with a professionally made mouthguard. Make sure to store your mouthguard in a bacteria-free environment.
Do: Talk to your dentist about a custom mouthguard made if you are very active. Store-bought guards may offer some protection but are not as effective as those provided by your dentist after obtaining an impression of your teeth.
While some oral health issues are hard to avoid (like the consequences of certain illnesses, trauma, and medications), abiding by these three basic rules are your best bet for keeping your smile healthy and avoiding high dental costs.