It can be easy to take our oral health for granted. Afterall, if everything feels OK, what’s to worry about? However, problems with our teeth sometimes start small but quickly grow into real emergencies. That’s why Georgia Dental Association member dentists are here to help monitor your oral health and keep your smile healthy and bright.
Use these tips to prevent tooth decay and other dental problems to keep your smile at its best.
Brush and floss twice a day. If you’ve heard this one before, that’s because it’s essential! Regular flossing and brushing with fluoride toothpaste is one of the best ways to keep your teeth happy and healthy.
Regular dental visits can stop problems before they become emergencies. Routine preventive care can catch small problems before they become major issues and save you money in the long-run. For example, identifying small cavities may prevent the need for a root canal later.
Visiting your dentist is one of the best things to do to catch oral cancer in its early stages. Checking for signs of oral cancer is part of a regular dental check-up. It could save your life if detected early.
Drink more water. Water helps protect your tooth enamel by washing away sugar and lingering food particles stuck to your teeth.
Early interventions, like sealants, can help prevent tooth decay.
Sealants are a thin coating that can be applied to the surface area of teeth by a dentist. These can help prevent decay and damage to the tooth before it has a chance to begin.
Avoid damaging tooth enamel while brushing—don’t brush aggressively! Did you know that brushing too hard can damage tooth enamel and the gums? While teeth need to be diligently cleaned, do so gently.
Limit sugary foods. Excess sugar can lead to tooth decay and cavities. In fact, sugar should not make up more than 10% of our daily calories.
Don't smoke. Smoking is bad for our bodies in many ways, and is particularly vexing on the teeth as it has been shown to be a risk factor in gum disease and can slow the healing process after dental procedures.
Protect your teeth from injury. When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age. While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, any athlete may experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating.
Never use your teeth for anything other than chewing food. Our teeth are designed to chew food. Other uses increase your chances of cracking them. Chewing on pencils and pens, using them to open bags or bottles, crack nuts, or hold things in your teeth poses a risk of cracking teeth. Also, be careful about the types of food that you eat. Chewing on ice poses the biggest risk, but some hard candies, popcorn kernels or nuts can crack teeth if you bite down on them.
Help spread the word about dental health
Feel free to use these resources as you fight against plaque, cavities, and tooth decay!
GDA Foundation for Oral Health
1850 Parkway Place
Marietta, GA 30067