Protecting your teeth and gums is paramount to good oral health. In addition to daily brushing and flossing, there are other ways to keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy. Taking these precautions can help you preserve your oral health for a lifetime.
Prevent Dry Mouth
Dry mouth often leads to more plaque buildups and causes bad breath. You can avoid dry mouth by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. Choose nonacidic sugar-free drinks as a way to further avoid getting cavities. Chewing on a piece of sugar-free gum can stimulate saliva production in your mouth and keep it from becoming dry.
Treat Your GERD
Also known as gastroesophageal reflex disease, GERD is a condition that causes stomach acid to move up through your esophagus and sometimes into your mouth. This acid can damage tooth enamel, which is the outer shell that keeps your teeth protected. There are certain over-the-counter medicines that can treat GERD symptoms, or you may want to consider seeing a doctor and taking a prescription medication if your problem is severe.
Avoid Brushing Too Hard
Brushing too hard on a regular basis can wear away your enamel, and this can make your teeth more vulnerable to cavities and other dental problems. Rough brushing can also damage your gums and cause them to bleed, become swollen and get infected. Even though you want to avoid brushing too hard, you should still make sure that you are applying enough pressure with your toothbrush to thoroughly clean your mouth.
Wear Mouth Guards While Playing Contact Sports
Teeth can get chipped and knocked out while playing contact sports, and wearing a mouth guard is a great way to avoid problems. A mouth guard can also be helpful if you tend to grind your teeth while sleeping. Some dentists offer customized mouth guards that are made to fit your mouth correctly and give you optimal protection. If you do happen to experience severe mouth trauma while playing a contact sport, you can always visit an emergency dental clinic Edmonton residents commonly go to when they need urgent treatment.
Use Toothpaste with Fluoride
Fluoride is a substance that is often used to help strengthen bones to prevent fractures and bone loss. Many toothpastes contain fluoride as a way to give teeth some additional protection. Using a toothpaste with fluoride may prevent cracks in teeth that allow bacteria to enter and cause infections and cavities.
Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools
Teeth are made for chewing food, and you should avoid using your teeth to open packaging or removing bottle tops. Using your teeth as tools can cause them to become damaged and possibly loosen. You can avoid the temptation of using your teeth to perform certain tasks by always having a pair of scissors and other handy tools near you.
Prevent Chlorine Exposure
A limited exposure to chlorine will likely be safe for your teeth, but too much of it may harm them. Chlorine is linked to problems like tooth sensitivity and dark tooth stains. Most people are exposed to high chlorine levels when they go swimming. Many public swimming pools are now filled with non-chlorine solutions to disinfect water, and you can swim at these pools if you want to avoid chlorine exposure. If you happen to swim in a pool with chlorine, try to keep your mouth closed as often as possible while in the water.
Eat the Right Foods
You probably already know that you should stay away from foods that are acidic and high in sugar, but you can enhance your oral health even more by eating right. Carrots, onions and shitake mushrooms contain vitamins and minerals that are excellent for teeth and gums. Ginger and basil are also great and can be added to many of your favorite meals. Another smart food choice for oral health is cheese, which contains the calcium, phosphorus and protein that make teeth healthy.
Having healthy teeth and gums for life is possible if you make the right changes and stay on top of your dental care. Making the conscious decision to protect your oral health can help prevent certain dental problems and keep you smiling for many years to come.