Your mouth is home to billions of bacteria. While some are good for your oral health, others are not as they feed on the sugars in your food and drinks. In the process, these microbes leave behind waste known as dental plaque. The plaque allows the bacteria to stick around longer until they make acids, erode your tooth enamel, and cause cavities. The bacteria in the dental plaque also form along the gum line, producing toxic products that may lead to gingivitis and other oral health issues.
Dental hygiene will help maintain good oral health. Here are the top ways to look after your teeth.
Floss and Brush Your Teeth Regularly. Brush your teeth twice a day for a couple of minutes. This way, you can stop plaque from building up and wearing down your teeth. Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush with rounded tips and fluoridated toothpaste for optimal results. Furthermore, make it a habit to use interdental cleaners like dental floss or water flossers daily to clean hard-to-reach places in your mouth. This way, you can remove plaque and food debris lodged between your teeth.
Cut Down on Sugar. Studies show that a specific group of harmful bacteria in your mouth produce acid whenever they find and absorb sugar. These acids remove minerals from your tooth enamel. Although your saliva can reverse the damage, the repeated cycle of acid attacks can lead to mineral loss. This wears away the enamel, causing cavities. If left untreated, a cavity can spread into the deeper layers of your tooth, resulting in pain and possible tooth loss.
Limit Consumption of Acidic Foods and Drinks. Unfortunately, sugar isn’t the only factor that can harm your teeth. Foods and beverages that are high in acids can also destroy your enamel. This process is called tooth erosion. If your enamel has started to weaken, you may experience tooth discoloration and sensitivity. In extreme cases, you may develop an abscess and lose your tooth. Once erosion occurs, the changes to your teeth will be permanent. This is why you may need dental treatments like fillings, crowns, veneers, or root canal.
Consider Other Lifestyle Changes. What you eat and drink can impact your oral health. So, it would be best if you ate a balanced diet. A healthy diet shall include fruit, vegetables, starchy foods, whole grains, and lean protein sources. Additionally, smoking and tobacco products contribute to stained teeth, gum disease, and a slow recovery process after tooth removal. It can also dull your sense of taste and smell. Quit smoking, and, if possible, limit alcohol intake. Studies show that heavy drinkers are much more likely to suffer from tooth decay, mouth sores, and gum diseases.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly. Avoid putting off an appointment with your dentist. Remember that detecting problems early on can increase your chances of successful treatment. Without early diagnosis and treatment, the problem can result in tooth damage that’s more difficult to resolve, or worse, impossible to repair.
At Orange Door Dental Group, we can help you stay on top of your dental cleanings and checkups. Call any of our offices now in Elkhart or Warsaw, Indiana, to schedule your consultation.