Dental appointments should happen regularly. However, in between those appointments, you’re responsible for continuing and maintaining your care schedule. We see a lot of issues within our practice where clients show up after a few months with serious problems. Sometimes, these problems could be avoided by following our advice when it comes to taking care of their oral health. The worst thing about dealing with issues is that it costs you to correct them. Maintaining good dental health is crucial to ensuring that your teeth are in perfect condition, and your wallet remains full. Here are a few pieces of advice from your Royal Palm Beach dentist in the hopes that you can take better care of your teeth:
1. Brush your Teeth Daily
You must have heard this advice a thousand times as a child. Brushing your teeth twice daily is a useful preventative measure against tooth decay. The Mayo Clinic notes that brushing your teeth helps to get rid of plaque and food from between your teeth, making less likely that the enamel will decay. Brushing isn’t the end of the process, however, as there are some hard-to-reach areas that toothbrush bristles can’t get to. You also need to use floss if you want to properly clean your teeth and get the most value out of your brushing.
2. Dental Exams Usually Include Screening for Oral Cancer
A little-known fact is that when a dentist examines your mouth, they aren’t just looking for cavities. They’re also doing a cursory examination to see if you may have oral cancer. Web MD notes that the dentist may be watching for lumps, spots, or anything unusual about your saliva. All of these are tell-tale signs of oral cancer and may require them to schedule a follow-up visit or more in-depth testing to confirm their suspicions. Luckily, if you catch oral cancer quickly, it is treatable. The oral cancer screening is another good reason for you to visit your dentist more often. Make sure you ask them about the process next time you go in.
3. Gum Disease is Linked to Other Areas of Health
Many Americans aren’t really concerned with the health of their gums, but they aren’t alone in that feeling around the world. The British National Health Service mentions that the state of your teeth may have a significant impact on your overall health. Early intervention is necessary to deal with gum disease before it leads to other complications. The more severe stage of gum disease is known as periodontitis. This late stage of the disease is hard to deal with and can lead to complications such as bone loss. As with other oral health issues, seeing your dentist regularly for your scheduled check-ups is key to having healthy teeth and gums throughout your entire life.
4. Don’t Skip your Dental Appointments!
While most of our clients come back to our offices for the stellar service, there are a lot of people who think that dental appointments are optional. Reuters reports that over 50% of older Americans forego their dental check-ups. The numbers may be even more prevalent for middle-aged and young Americans. Many people don’t see oral healthcare as crucial to their overall well-being. Other medical concerns usually come first, leading to them overlooking regular dental check-ups or thinking they can be postponed. However, preventative care is an essential element of oral hygiene. Visiting the dentist at regular intervals forms part of that preventative care. Don’t skip your appointment, reschedule it if you need to. Your teeth will thank you later.
5. Bad Breath is a Sign of a Problem
As any Royal Palm Beach dentist can testify, a patient having bad breath over a long period is a warning sign. However, most people think they can deal with their bad breath by using breath mints, or tongue inserts to cover the scent. Sometimes, bad breath might not be the problem, but it might help a dentist figure out what’s going wrong. The Oral Health Foundation mentions that bad breath is one of the warning signs of tooth decay and gum disease. Visiting your dentist regularly will help catch these insidious problems before they progress into worse and potentially irreversible conditions.
6. Keep an Eye on What You Eat
Your diet is a critical element in proper health. While most people understand the risks of consuming some foods on their heart or their circulatory system, they pay less attention to how their consumption affects their teeth. We all know that sugared drinks and candy aren’t good for our teeth. Having these once in a while won’t lead to massive teeth decay, but it is a chance that you take. To avoid having to deal with the complications of sugary drinks and snacks, some people opt to consume sugar-free options, thinking them healthier. Science Alert mentions that this is a misconception, and these drinks and snacks are just as bad for your teeth as the sugary ones.
7. If You Ignore It, it Won’t Go Away
Occasionally, we get a frantic call from a client that we haven’t heard from in years. They inform us, usually, that they had a problem some time ago but figured if they ignored it, it would just go away. The human body (especially your teeth) doesn’t work like that. If you’ve been having a problem, check a dentist as soon as you can. If your dentist advises you that you may have an issue, then follow his or her advice in treating it. Many dental problems can be dealt with early on to keep your teeth healthy. However, the longer you avoid the issue and pretend it isn’t there, the more problems it causes later on. The cost, both in terms of time and money, is not worth the peace of mind you get by ignoring an obvious problem.
8. Root Canals Aren’t Always Painful
Root canals have a bad reputation. Most Americans think a root canal is going to cause pain – so much so that they avoid going to a dentist to deal with the pain they’re already having. The truth about root canals is that they help relieve pain. According to the American Association of Endodontists, the majority of patients feel little to no pain while the procedure is being done. Dental technology has advanced to the point where root canals have become as painless as filling a cavity. Local anesthetic allows your Royal Palm Beach dentist to numb the area so that you don’t feel a thing while the procedure is going on. Don’t be afraid to get a root canal if you have to. It’s far less painful than letting it fester.
9. Change your Toothbrushes Often
Usually, toothbrushes get worn out after a few months of use. Some people keep their toothbrush around for longer, in some cases, three to five months. Doing this is a recipe for disaster. Toothbrushes pick up bacteria, and the longer you use it, the worse it gets. People who have gum disease have to change their toothbrushes every four to six weeks! Changing it regularly is often (although you don’t have to go overboard). Keeping it clean between uses is also an essential factor. Your toothbrush is your first line of defense against tooth decay, and you have to take care of it for it to take care of you.
Knowledge is Power
Some of the bits of advice we’ve offered are obvious. Dentists have been trying to get their patients to follow things like brushing and flossing regularly. We’ve just tried to reiterate how vital those well-known tips are. A skilled Royal Palm Beach dentist would tell you the same about any of these topics. We believe that your oral health is a lifelong responsibility. At Anderson Dental, we help you understand what you can do to keep healthy. Check us out today or call to make an appointment! You won’t be disappointed.