Although it is easy to take our teeth for granted, we definitely should appreciate them for all that they do. Healthy, strong teeth enable us to speak and communicate with others. They facilitate chewing of food for nutritious meals and gum for snacks. Teeth also assist with the digestive process. Attractive teeth contribute to a person’s physical appeal. For these reasons and more, we need to take care of our teeth to keep them working efficiently for the rest of our lives.
Get Regular Dental Checkups
Sometimes we get so busy that we put off medical and dental exams until a problem develops. By then, the issue may require more extensive evaluation and treatment than if we had been getting routine exams all along. Dental experts recommend twice-a-year exams for the teeth, soft tissues, and other mouth structures. The routine exam may include x-rays, a hygienist’s cleaning of your teeth, and an oral cancer screening. If problems are found, the dentist can address them promptly if they are within his or her scope or practice or refer you to a specialist for auxiliary services like a root canal.
Maintain Daily Dental Hygiene
In addition to having regular dental exams, it is important to do our part as well. That means brushing twice daily, if not after every meal, along with daily flossing and any additional treatment the dentist recommends. This could include a fluoride dental rinse, using a water pic, or other types of dental hygiene aids.
Be Careful What You Put Into Your Mouth
We all know the dangers of eating too much sugar, especially several times a day. Continual exposure to sugary substances will erode tooth enamel and lead to decay. Over time, the sugar-based decay will cause cavities, requiring fillings from the dentist. In severe cases, one or more teeth may become so irreparably damaged that they have to be extracted. The same problem can result from acidic foods and beverages, like soda. Similarly, using tobacco products like cigarettes or snuff can damage teeth over time.
Get Dental Injuries Evaluated
If you have ever bitten hard on something like a nut or piece of popcorn and felt immediate sharp pain in a tooth, you might have been tempted to ignore it. But any type of injury to a tooth should be evaluated by the dentist to rule out serious problems. Being hit in the face with a hard object or other types of facial and jaw injuries should be checked out. If a tooth is damaged, it can often be repaired before a more serious problem develops.
We need our teeth to work well and look great. With proper care and maintenance, we can benefit from them for years to come.
About the Author:
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.