Visiting your family dentist on a regular basis can help you and your family maintain good oral health. It may also help you avoid issues in the future, which may be painful and costly. In addition to visiting your dentist and oral hygienist routinely, there are several ways you can prevent dental issues. For instance, knowing what to do in the vent of an emergency can be crucial, and knowing how to prevent cavities is important as well. Here are 5 measures to take for good oral health:
1. Know How to React in the Event of a Dental Emergency
Suppose your child knocked out a front (permanent) tooth while playing sports. How would you react? Those first measures you take may make all the difference in whether the tooth can be saved and re-implanted. First note whether there is any bleeding from the injury. Having the child bite down on a piece of sterile gauze will help control any bleeding that occurs.
Your family dentist would also advise you to gently rinse the tooth in lukewarm water or milk to remove dirt or debris. If at all possible, place the tooth back into the socket until you get to the emergency dentist. If you are unable to do so, place the tooth in a cup of milk or saltwater to prevent it from drying out. This will increase the odds of a successful re-implantation. The next step is to get right over to the dentist for emergency treatment. X-rays may be necessary to detect further damage or injuries.
2. Visit Your Family Dental Office Before an Emergency Occurs
While your dentist is there for crisis treatment, the family dental practice serves another main purpose: routine checkups and preventative treatment. By making routine appointments, your dentist can detect oral health issues before they escalate into something serious.
Through routine exams, your dentist can detect the early stages of gum disease or tooth decay – in adults and children. He or she can also detect the tiniest cavity in your child's mouth, even before your child feels any pain or discomfort. The dentist can correct the issues, which may help you avoid costly treatment later on. In addition, your dentist may educate you and your family on how to maintain proper oral health and practice good oral hygiene habits.
3. Learn How to Prevent Cavities and Tooth Decay Early On
Give your child the best start to good oral health. Help him or her avoid cavities and tooth decay. The following advise also works for adults:
Brush and Floss After Meals: This may sound redundant, but it is over overlooked during the course of a hectic day. Brushing after meals or after eating sweets can help rinse away plaque – a main culprit in developing tooth decay. It may also help remove sticky food particles and sugar that adheres to the teeth, which also contributes to developing cavities. Flossing helps remove more than plaque; it also rids the gums and teeth of bacteria.
Your dentist understand that it may not always be possible to brush after a meal. If you or your child are unable to brush, at the very least you should rinse your mouth with warm water after eating.
Know Which Foods and Snacks to Avoid: Sweet snacks and sugary beverages bathe the teeth in sugar. This may lead to cavities. It is best to limit the sweets and choose healthier snacks, such as an apple. You might also choose cheese a healthy snack. Cheese contains casein, a protein that helps increase calcium levels. Calcium helps build strong teeth and de-mineralize the teeth.
Consider Dental Sealants: This coating may prevent bacteria and plaque from settling down into the grooves of the back teeth. If you or your family members are prone to developing cavities, it may be worth asking your dentist about this option.
4. Avoid Piercing the Lip or Tongue
Your dentist may inform you of the potential issues that may be caused by oral piercings. Besides experiencing pain or inflammation from a pierced lip or tongue, there is a risk of developing an infection. It may also lead to swelling, a loss of taste sensation or excessive drooling. Consult with your dentist for more insight and advice.
5. Refrain From Tobacco And Smokeless Tobacco Use
Just about everyone knows that smoking is harmful to one's general health. Did you also know that tobacco use may harm your teeth and gums as well as your body? Tobacco use may cause sores on gums or in the mouth that do not heal. Additionally, tobacco use may make it difficult to chew food properly. Yellow or stained teeth is another potential effect of smoking. The most serious consequence of smoking is an increased risk of developing oral cancer.
If you think about it, there are many ways you can avoid dental issues. For more information, contact the American Dental Association or ask dental offices like Family Dentistry Of Woodstock for reading material or brochures on maintaining good oral health.