How to Protect Your Teeth

Shockingly, 91% of Americans between the age of 20 and 64 are affected by tooth decay.

Furthermore, dental cavities are the most chronic disease among youth ages 6-19.

So, why is there such a widespread issue with oral health in the United States?

Most likely, it is a combination of a lack of education and insufficient resources.

Fortunately, when it comes to dental hygiene, it is never too late to start taking care of your teeth. In fact, with Christmas fast approaching, now is the ideal time to start action of protecting your teeth, given all the sweet treats that come with this time of year.

Not sure how to ensure your smile dazzles for many years to come long after Christmas?

Within the below blog, you will find out everything you need to do to take care of your teeth and gums. Plus, learn how you can help your family.  

Brush twice a day

The simplest tip but also the most important one, if you want your teeth to last a lifetime, then you need to ensure you are brushing them twice a day. Ideally, you should brush your teeth with a bristled toothbrush first thing in the morning, before you have breakfast and last thing at night before you go to bed.

In terms of which toothpaste is best, while there is much debate about fluoride toothpaste, this is still the ingredient recommended by dentists.

When brushing, be sure to pay attention to your entire mouth, not just your teeth, as bacteria can also attack the gums and other supporting tooth structures.

Floss daily and use mouthwash

While most people know that flossing is a good idea, not many people actually take the time to do it daily. If you can, you should try to floss after each meal, but if this is not logistically possible, perhaps if you are going to a Christmas party and eating food there, once a day is sufficient.

Mouthwash can also be beneficial in protecting your teeth at it can reach areas that brushing may have missed and help to banish bad breath.

Avoid harmful foods and drinks

Do you love red wine? Coffee? How about sweets? All of these naughty treats are not only bad for your health in general, but they can also have a detrimental effect on your teeth, and you may be consuming them more around this festive time of year.

From staining to tooth loss, eating a poor diet can cause a whole host of oral health-related issues.

Of course, it isn’t easy to simply cut out all these foods. You can still enjoy them, just in moderation. If you aim to limit your intake of harmful foods and drinks such as coffee, soft drinks, high sugar foods, and tomato-based products and instead stick to sipping water, you can protect your teeth.

Visit your dentist regularly

When it comes to dental care, one of the most commonly typed phrases made on Google is “how often should you go to the dentist”, and the answer is once every six months is sufficient.

However, if you are experiencing any pain, have bleeding gums, decayed tooth enamel, or have any other concerns about your teeth, you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. You don’t want your spend your Christmas period in pain due to tooth problems, after all.

It is also a good idea to book an appointment with a dental hygienist twice a year as they will be able to clean your mouth thoroughly, identify any issues with your current brushing regime and help to practice good oral hygiene.

Give up smoking

Smoking is one of the worst habits for your teeth, increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Smoking also harms your body’s immune system, which makes it more difficult for the body to heal tissues, including those found in your teeth and gums.

Furthermore, if you are worried about the appearance of your teeth, smoking can lead to yellowing of both the teeth and tongue and can give your breath a bad odor.

Although it may seem impossible to stop smoking, there are many online resources that can help you. Your dentist should also be able to offer you advice.

Drink water

While not the most exciting drink in the world, water is so much better for your teeth than sugary sodas or alcoholic beverages. Sugar-sweetened beverages such as juice, soda, and energy drinks can all increase your risk of cavities, so if possible, try to limit these in your diet, especially over the festive season, where these are likely to be in abundance.

Instead, avoid dry mouth by drinking water, unsweetened tea, or sugar-free drinks throughout the day and only drinking small amounts of sugar-sweetened drinks alongside your meals or special get-togethers.

How to protect your child’s teeth

If you have young children, getting them to brush and floss their teeth properly can be a bit of a nightmare. While you may think that a child’s primary teeth, also known as their baby teeth, are not as important as their permanent teeth, this is not the case.

Acting as placeholders for their future adult teeth, you need to take care of your child’s baby teeth if you want them to grow up with a strong and healthy set of teeth.

If you are not sure how to go about protecting your child’s teeth, the below top tips should help:

  • Wipe your baby’s gums with a warm and wet washcloth daily. This can help to remove any sugars that have accumulated during the day.
  • Do not allow babies or toddlers to go to bed with sippy cups or bottles, as both milk and juice contain sugars that can cause tooth decay.
  • Allow toddlers to sip water from a sippy cup between meals but save milk and juice for mealtimes only.
  • Once your baby has teeth, brush them twice a day with a soft bristled Only use a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • For children aged 3-6, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
  • Make sure you brush your child’s teeth for them until you are confident that they can properly brush them on their own.
  • Keep the toothpaste out of reach when not in use.
  • Book your child in to see a family dentist within six months of their first tooth appearing.
  • Do not share eating utensils with your child.
  • Make sure you clean any pacifiers properly. Avoid putting them in your own mouth as this can pass on cavity-causing bacteria to your child.

Are you looking for a professional and friendly family dentist? Here at Biltmore Avenue Family Dentistry, we pride ourselves on offering a welcoming and relaxing environment for all the family.

If you are currently looking for an Asheville dentist, why not give us a call to see what dental services we offer?