5 Simple Steps to Not Losing Your Teeth
For all the things you can lose in life—your keys, your wallet, your phone—there’s one thing you can never get back: your teeth. You only get one set of permanent pearly whites and you probably don’t realize how much you will miss them until they’re gone. From biting into a juicy, ripe apple to proudly announcing your happiness to those you love, your teeth are some of your most valuable and versatile assets. It really doesn’t take that much to make sure they last you a lifetime.
If you’re the type of person who hates to lose things and would prefer to keep their original set of chompers, we’ve got 5 simple steps you can take that’ll go a long way toward helping you not lose your teeth.
1. Floss: There’s an old saying: you don’t have to floss all of your teeth, just the ones you want to keep. The simple truth is you need to floss at least once a day, every single day. Flossing is the number one step most people can take to improve their dental health. Brushing your teeth is critically important, but brushing can’t get to the food particles and plaque that collect between your teeth. Plaque is the sticky stuff that forms on your teeth. It’s made up of bacteria that can cause serious damage to your teeth, your gums, even the bone that supports your teeth. Only flossing allows you to get rid of the plaque between your teeth. If you see blood when you floss, it doesn’t mean you should stop. It means you should floss more often and better. Healthy gums don’t bleed.
2. Brush well: Many people wonder if electric toothbrushes are better than their old-fashioned counterparts. Lots of time and research has been spent comparing the two, and the results almost always tell the same story: You should use whichever makes you happy and helps you do a good job. Electric toothbrushes are great for people who have physical limitations or those who enjoy gadgets, but a regular toothbrush and proper brushing technique is just as good at removing plaque. The only “must” when it comes to brushing is to be sure your toothbrush’s bristles are soft or extra-soft.
While you’re brushing, don’t forget to brush your tongue. Your tongue’s rough surfaces can easily trap food particles and bacteria, which can lead to bad breath, irritation, and in some cases, strange things dentists prefer to see only in textbooks. Either use your toothbrush or buy a tongue scraper at your local drugstore.
3. See a dentist: If your tooth hurts, it’s probably time to see a dentist. Putting it off only delays the inevitable. Plus, the longer you wait the more painful and expensive the cure is likely to be. The average cost of a simple filling to remove early decay and restore the tooth ranges from $50 to $300. The average cost of a root canal and crown once decay extends deep to the nerve of the tooth? $1,700 to $3,200! Which one of these trips to the dentist fits better into your budget?
4. Get regular checkups: It’s important that you see your dentist for a checkup every 6 months. Not only do these twice-yearly cleanings keep your teeth in tip-top shape, they also enable your dentist to catch any dental problems in their earliest stages, when they’re less painful and less expensive (see Number 3). Think of your teeth like your car. Taking your car in for regular oil changes is just common sense. Regular maintenance makes sure that the important things in your life—including your teeth and your car—last for a long, long time.
5. Eat a healthy diet: The foods you choose to put in your body have a significant impact on the health of your teeth. A 2012 study of ancient human teeth showed that cavities in the teeth of our prehistoric ancestors were rare. Do you know why? It’s because cavemen didn’t have access to the high amounts of sugar, grains, and carbohydrates that we eat today. So, for healthy teeth, consider eating like a caveman. A diet rich in nuts, vegetables, and meat is the best choice for dental health. Cutting down on sugar with such a diet is not only good for your teeth, it’s also good for slimming down your waistline and preventing other common conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and more.
5 simple steps, 1 simple goal: to keep all of your teeth. For questions about the health of your smile, VCC’s Dental Health team is here to help.
Call now to schedule an appointment!
The medical information contained on this article is general in nature and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for the advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by your own physician or a qualified healthcare provider. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with your own physician or a qualified healthcare provider. Although every effort is made to ensure the information provided is accurate and timely, it is provided for convenience and should not be considered official.