Preventive Oral Health Tips
The below advice applies if you have to good fortune of not being in dental pain right now. If however you are in pain, we do have dental payment plans to help you with your immediate problem.
Tips and tricks to keep up a good oral hygiene
1. Floss daily, get in there and floss each tooth, not just the gap but up under the gum on both side. Bleeding or tender gums means you need to floss MORE. Floss keeps breaking? Try waxed tape. Hands to big? Try inter dental brushes such as ‘piksters’ starting small and work your way up till you get a tight fit.
2. Brush twice daily with an electric tooth-brush (2mins x 2), why electric tooth-brush? It encourages you to brush longer and makes up for poor technique.
3. Diet: try not to snack, rinse after sticky meals, coffee, tea, red wine, soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and curry. Eating healthy crunchy fresh food helps keep your teeth clean. Soft, carbohydrate rich foods encourage decay. Include in your diet a rich supply of vitamins especially c, b and d (get outside each day, but be sun safe!) as well as calcium.
4. Water, 2 litres of water per day is about the minimum each of us should consume, that is 8 standard glasses! Water helps keep the pH of our mouths neutral. An acidic mouth accelerates the progression of decay by weakening the enamel.
5. Stress less, if you catch yourself grinding during the day, focus on stopping, clenching can cause cracks in teeth which leads to fillings and crowns. If you’re grinding in your sleep you need to get a splint made, no way around this one – sorry! The damage can be bad.
6. Don’t bite your fingernails or fishing line, or open bottles with your teeth. Enamel is the hardest substance in your body. But it’s not THAT hard! These habits will put chips in your teeth.
7. Don’t smoke: it stains your teeth, gives you bad breath, increases plaque and calculus build up, causes bone loss, may lead to oral cancer and gum disease. Does this include marijuana? Yes. Even if I use a vaporizer? It is LESS harmful but there is not enough research with long-term regular use to be conclusive.
8. If you grind your teeth – seek treatment. Grinding your teeth increases the risk of gum disease, tooth wear and ultimately the need for extensive treatment.
9. If you have sleep apnoea – seek treatment. There is a high correlation between sleep apnoea and grinding teeth – so not only does sleep apnoea cause various systemic health issues – it also causes dental health issues
10. Chew gum – it helps keep your teeth clean in times when you can’t brush and floss by stimulating your salivary glands to produce saliva.
These are my tips for getting by without seeing a Dentist. My job is to prevent problems like decay, gingivitis, gum disease and cracked teeth. Seeing a dental professional will allow us to identify problems early so they don’t develop into big problems. It is the most cost-effective form of dental care and involves seeing a dental professional six to twelve monthly to have preventative appointment.
Problem based dentistry where you see a dentist only when you have a problem, is third world style treatment. We live in an age where with good awareness and education a person can live their whole life without having a filling. You may need to have your wisdom teeth out, or need to have them straightened out to avoid problems later on.
It is very sad to me that the majority of people will have a tooth rot in their jaw until it needs to be pulled out before they seek help. This is amputation of a functional part of your body. Would you let that happen to your finger.. no?
We need to think about the future, that every filling will need constant replacement and lead to a crown and maybe a root canal. This isn’t cost-effective. Having a radio graph every few years and a clean and check once a year might cost you a few thousand over a life time but the cost of a root canal and crown or implant is a few thousand…