This article explains the importance of oral health and hygiene in the prevention of tooth loss caused by bacterial infection and tooth decay.
Too many people take their teeth for granted. As strong and invulnerable as your pearly whites may seem, they simply cannot withstand decades of neglect. A high-sugar diet, poor oral hygiene, smoking or excessive alcohol consumption can all result in a multitude of oral conditions and diseases. All of which, lead directly to tooth loss. Furthermore, you don’t even need to commit the top dental sins to suffer from tooth loss later on in life. Some patients are genetically predisposed to periodontal (gum) disease and oral cancer. What you absolutely want to avoid is finding out the hard way just how vulnerable your teeth are to poor oral hygiene and certain bad habits. Preventing tooth loss is a lifelong exercise that should start as soon as your adult teeth emerge in your late childhood.
A Guide to Preventative Oral Healthcare
There is no better approach to healthcare than a preventative one. And this starts by following a rigorous home oral hygiene routine.
- You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes at a time, making sure to include each and every tooth in your brush strokes. Using toothpaste with fluoride is highly recommended.
- You should floss your teeth at least once a day, and always floss before bedtime. When food and bacteria become trapped between your teeth, using a toothbrush alone isn’t good enough to keep your teeth and gums clean.
- It’s always a good idea to include an anti-bacterial mouthwash in your oral hygiene routine, especially if you spend long hours away from home. Keep a bottle of mouthwash (preferably one approved by the American Dental Association) in your drawer at work. Rinsing your mouth out after lunch or a sugary snack will keep bacterial activity in your mouth to a minimum.
Another fundamental component of preventative dentistry is regular visits to the dentist and oral hygienist! Even if you maintain a strict oral hygiene routine, your teeth and gums are still vulnerable to bacteria, decay and physical trauma. You may have a surface cavity or localized infection that you’re completely unaware of. Only the skilled and experienced eye of a dentist can make that diagnosis and recommend treatment before mild issues escalate out of control. You should be going for check-ups once every six months, dentistry guidelines.
Habits to Avoid and Habits to Adopt
In conjunction with a thorough oral hygiene routine and keeping regular visits to the dentist, you should take care to avoid the following habits:
- Tobacco chewing and smoking
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Drug abuse (both illegal and prescription)
- Using your teeth as tools, for example; to open containers, etc.
And you should try your best to make the following positive lifestyle changes:
- Drink water instead of sugary soft-drinks
- Cut down on tea and coffee
- Get more exercise: This promotes general health and helps patients psychologically cope with stress, which in turn aids in the prevention of teeth grinding, or Bruxism.
- Eat a balanced diet
A Final Note
By following these healthcare guidelines every day, there is no reason why you can’t enter into your late adulthood with all of your original adult teeth. Healthy teeth and gums make for a beautiful smile and fresh breath; and let’s not forget all the money you’ll save on expensive restorative dental procedures and surgery.