We put our teeth through a lot, whether it’s the food we eat, the drinks we drink or the activities we partake in. Over time, the combination of these factors can wreak havoc on our teeth, leading to expensive dental treatments and a severe loss of confidence.
Healthy, shiny pearly whites not only leave a great first impression but also help you to maintain your dental health as you age. Below, we’ll explore some of the best ways you can avoid damaging your teeth and hold onto that glowing, radiant smile long into the future.
Regular visits to the dentist
As an adult, it’s recommended that you take a trip to the dentist about every six months. This will allow any dental health issues that you may be having in your gums or your teeth to be spotted and treated in a timely manner before they’re given the chance to fester and grow.
Spotting problems such as decay, infected teeth and gum disease in their early stages is a pivotal part in maintaining the overall health of your mouth, with easier and less invasive treatments that have a higher rate of success. While going to the dentist can be intimidating (especially if you haven’t been in a while), you’ll thank yourself for it once you’re done. We promise!
Brush and floss
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the power of daily brushing and flossing isn’t something to be glazed over. Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time is the key to removing plaque, the transparent bacteria that covers your teeth. If not removed, bacteria can cause tooth decay, gum disease and a variety of other dental health issues.
Flossing also plays an important role in getting rid of plaque, helping you clean those hard to reach areas in between your teeth that our toothbrushes can’t always get to on their own. It’s recommended to floss before you brush, as flossing will help loosen the bacteria between your teeth and brushing will then clean them away.
Limit sugary foods and drinks
Even with regular brushing and flossing, sugary foods and drinks can have a devastating effect on your dental health. Out of all the things you can eat or drink, sugar is the worst for your teeth and can cause the most damage over time. This is because sugar is consumed by acid-producing bacteria in your mouth, which then eats away at your tooth enamel.
This can lead to cavities, stains, and the inside structures of your teeth eroding. The longer the sugar sits in your mouth the worse the end result will be, so try and keep your teeth as clean as possible after consuming high amounts of sugar.
Combat bruxism head-on
Bruxism is a condition that causes you to habitually grind, clench or gnash your teeth together, which can happen when you’re both awake and asleep. The more severe cases of bruxism can lead to tooth damage, jaw disorders, headaches and more, potentially causing an array of health issues.
If you suffer from bruxism, it’s important that you combat it head-on to avoid damaging your teeth for life. It’s often mental health issues such as anxiety and stress that cause both awake and asleep bruxism, so your dentist may recommend that you work with a psychologist or a counselor to help you combat this disorder.
Avoid eating too many hard foods
Hard substances such as lollies, ice and hard pretzels can damage the enamel on your teeth and make them more susceptible to being chipped, cracked or broken due to the stress that it can cause. Many of these foods also contain sugar and starch, which can collect in the grooves of your teeth and facilitate the growth of disease-causing bacteria.
While no one’s saying that you should avoid any and all hard foods 100% of the time, try and limit the amount that you eat and be cautious when you do decide to eat them. When possible, try to cut crunchy, hard foods into smaller bite-sized pieces that you can easily chew without putting too much pressure on your teeth.