Preventing bad health outcomes is almost always cheaper – and less painful – than trying to repair damage. Nowhere is this more true than oral health.
October is when dental professionals observe Dental Hygiene Month. Dental hygienists specialize in providing preventive care during your regular oral health check-ups. They clean the surfaces of your teeth, removing plaque and tartar. They may also apply sealants or other fluoride treatments to protect your teeth from decay.
You can help your dental team preserve your oral health by following a few simple steps throughout your day. Taking time now to protect your teeth and gums can save you money (and your teeth!) later.
Save Your Natural Teeth With These Oral Health Tips
- Visit your dentist for check-ups and cleaning at regular intervals. For some people, twice a year is plenty. Others need more frequent examinations. Talk to your dentist about how often to come in.
- Brush twice a day, and floss daily. These two habits are the foundation of good oral health.
- Stop smoking or do not start. Limit alcohol. Smoking can damage your gums. Alcohol can aggravate dry mouth, a condition that fuels tooth decay and gum disease.
- Eat a healthy diet. Include several servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Good choices include carrots, apples, and berries. Regular consumption of dairy foods provides calcium, an important nutrient to strengthen your teeth.
- Use a mouthguard for contact sports. Mouthguards are a must in football, basketball, baseball and other high-impact sports. You should also consider them in sports such as cycling and rock-climbing, where one mistake could result in your teeth suddenly hitting a hard surface.
- See an endodontist for teeth-saving procedures. Endodontists specialize in oral health conditions threatening natural teeth, such as infection in your dental pulp or broken/fractured teeth. They rely on extensive education and advanced technology to save natural teeth with a minimum of pain.
“Our practice advises patients daily about the importance of oral health self-care,” says Dr. Jacqueline S. Allen, founder of Phoenix Endodontic Group. “Choices you make daily about your oral health can play a significant role in how your natural teeth serve you over your lifetime.”