Preventive dental care also includes regular dental checkups, cleanings, and x-rays. While it may not be possible to avoid every dental problem, avoiding the dentist is never good practice.
Brush and Floss Twice Daily
Brushing and flossing is dental care you do at home, or at school, or at the office. Brush after every meal, or at the very least twice a day. Carry a travel toothbrush and toothpaste with you when you’re on the go. Keep it in your desk or in your locker at work or school. Keep these dental tools in the glove compartment of your car. Dental floss picks also travel well. Ask your dentist for a recommendation on the best toothpaste to use. Check the toothpaste label for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.
When buying a toothbrush, choose one with soft bristles. Hard bristles are hard on the gums. Make sure the brush head is large enough to cover two teeth at a time and replace it every three months sooner if the bristles start to flatten. Consider an electric or sonic toothbrush. This adds a bit of fun to brushing for kids and can make them enthusiastic brushers. Manual brushes are perfectly fine. Whichever toothbrush you choose, make sure to stick to your twice daily (at least) brushing schedule. Antibacterial mouthwash helps fight plaque buildup as well, but is not a substitute for brushing and flossing.
Eat Nutritious Foods
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it also makes dentists happy. Paying attention to what you put into your mouth goes a long way toward preventing dental problems. Sugar gets turned into acid by the bacteria found in dental plaque. Limiting sugar intake is good oral hygiene. Soft drinks and fruit juices eat away at tooth enamel. Enjoy these beverages in moderation.
Be careful of hard foods such as nuts and chips, these things have been known to crack teeth and fillings. Make sure pits are removed from olives before you bite down on them. Don’t try to impress your friends by popping off bottle caps with your teeth. That’s not what they’re for!
Get Regular Checkups
Remember, you want to avoid dental problems, not the dentist. It’s important to schedule regular dental visits. Your dentist will examine your teeth for cavities caused by plaque and tartar buildup. Dentists inspect gums and measure the spaces separating teeth and gums. They also check the tongue and throat for signs of redness or swelling and take x-rays to look for any potential problems. Of course, proper dental hygiene isn’t complete without a thorough cleaning.
Schedule a Checkup Today!
Practice good preventive dental care, eat right, and schedule a checkup and cleaning every six months and you will be well on your way to avoiding serious dental problems. Call our partner, University Dental Associates at 708-304-8406 to schedule an appointment or visit us online. Our dentists are experts at preventive dental care and perform tooth extractions, tooth repairs, replacements, and restorations.