Many dental problems can be avoided with a little knowledge and effort. By following these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of excellent oral health and save yourself from these common problems.
Problem 1: Tooth decay
How to avoid it: Tooth decay occurs when bacteria form a sticky film on your teeth called plaque. Plaque eventually hardens to become tartar, which eats holes (cavities) into the teeth. Limit your exposure to sugary foods and beverages, brush and floss regularly, and see your dentist every six months to avoid tooth decay.
Problem 2: Bad breath
How to avoid it: Besides limiting your garlic intake, the key to avoiding bad breath is to eliminate odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can all go a long way toward freshening your breath. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, as well. If you’re still experiencing chronic bad breath, see a dentist for a more aggressive treatment plan.
Problem 3: Gum disease
How to avoid it: Brush and floss on a regular basis to remove bacteria from near your gums. If you notice symptoms of gingivitis, the beginning stage of gum disease, be sure to see your dentist right away. These may include bleeding gums, pain, and swelling, among other symptoms. The key is to catch gum disease early, while it can still be treated.
Problem 4: Bruxism (teeth grinding)
How to avoid it: Teeth grinding can lead to several problems, including headaches, heavy wear, and sometimes broken teeth. Using a mouth guard will provide a barrier between your top and bottom teeth to prevent you from grinding down your teeth at night. Reducing your stress levels can also reduce the amount of teeth grinding you do.
Problem 5: Stained or discolored teeth
How to avoid it: Teeth can become discolored due to age or genetics, but often it’s due to lifestyle choices. Dark beverages such as coffee, tea, cola, and red wine are staining agents, so avoiding or limiting them (or using a straw) can help prevent tooth discoloration. Avoid tobacco use as well, and be sure to practice good oral hygiene.
Don’t wait until you’re experiencing a painful dental emergency to begin taking care of your teeth and gums. Good oral hygiene and regular dental appointments can go a long way toward preventing serious oral health problems.