Too often, when we think about lifestyle changes that can improve our general health we neglect to consider the health of our teeth. Most discussions of dental problems tend to focus on children, but as adults we need to take extra care because we only have one set of teeth to last us for decades. Simple changes to the way we eat and the way we live can ensure that we retain dazzling smiles right through our lives.
Getting out of Bad Habits
Everyone knows that consuming sugary foods and drinks is bad for your teeth, but did you know that hot and cold things could be similarly damaging? Keeping ice in your mouth after finishing a drink can crack the enamel on your teeth, as can having a hot cup of coffee just after getting inside on an icy day. Doing so can leave the roots vulnerable.
Not all tooth-damaging bad habits revolve around what we eat, however, because not eating can also be a problem. Overnight, acid builds up in the body and it’s normally used up when we eat breakfast. Missing out on this first meal of the day or otherwise going for long periods without eating can cause that acid to harm teeth. If you are dieting, try snacking on rice cakes, which are low calorie and absorbent, helping to prevent this problem occurring.
Some people damage their teeth directly, by grinding them together. This can happen when you are awake, especially if you are stressed or it can happen in your sleep. If it’s a problem for you, ask your dentist about getting a mouth guard to wear at night.
Finally, consider tooth health an extra reason for giving up smoking. Smoking will not only stain your teeth, it can also damage your gums, making infections more likely.
Getting Into Good Habits
One of the best habits you can get into in terms of your teeth is simply drinking water with and after meals and snacks, thus flushing away bits of food and traces of sugar. It’s also important to floss day and night to avoid food getting stuck between your teeth. If flossing makes your gums hurt, try interdental brushes as an alternative.
It is important to brush at least twice a day and to do so with a brush that suits you. Many people find electric toothbrushes more effective than manual ones, but if you have a small mouth, using a child’s toothbrush may give you better reach. If you have receding gums, a soft-bristled toothbrush may be the safest choice.
Signs to Watch out for
Teeth can show signs of trouble before they actually develop cavities. If your teeth feel rough to the touch of your tongue, if your gums keep receding or if you spit blood when you brush your teeth, you should talk to your dentist about ways of improving your dental care.
Solutions for Damaged Teeth
If your teeth have been stained, you can purchase whitening treatments to improve their appearance. If the damage is more severe, you could consider bridging work or implants, such as those available from All Care Dental Implants. Just make sure you take care of your new, improved teeth.