10 Updated Ways to Care for Your Teeth at Home
Many patients, especially if they grew up in the days before fluoride was added to water and toothpaste, have a horror of dentists. They assume every visit to the dentist will include the use of injections and drills. It is no wonder these patients would do anything to avoid treatment. The Dental Suite understands how you feel and have compiled a list of the ten things you can do for yourself which will result in less invasive treatment or no treatment required. Prevention is always better than cure.
Oral hygiene is of paramount importance in preventing dental decay and gum disease. Decay is the process in which the minerals in your tooth breakdown due to acid produced by bacteria in the mouth. This ranges from early decay without a cavity, to late decay where a large cavity has formed, and a nerve has been exposed, and the tooth is beyond saving.
Gum disease can vary from mild inflammation and bleeding to more advanced gum disease where you develop deep pockets around the gums and lose some of the bone which holds the teeth in place and, as a result, your teeth may become loose. To prevent gum disease and decay:
- Brush your teeth carefully at least twice a day to prevent plaque building up and decay developing.
- Use an electric toothbrush
- Floss between your teeth regularly, or use a tepe brush, to prevent decay developing in hard to reach areas.
- Ask your dentist to replace any old fillings and crowns which have broken down and can allow decay to develop.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste. This has been clinically proven to be 70% more effective in preventing decay than regular toothpaste. Check the strength, especially for children. If you are at high risk of decay, your dentist can prescribe a high strength fluoride toothpaste.
- Lower your sugar intake. Avoid sugar, especially fizzy drinks. These are one of the worst offenders when it comes to tooth decay, but fruit juices are not much better. Adding sugar to tea and coffee and overindulging in biscuits and sweets can wreak havoc on your teeth. It is always best to eat whole fruit where possible.
- Regular dental examinations are essential. Your dental condition can be periodically checked and X-rays made to reveal any decay. Old fillings can be assessed, and any risks of gum disease or decay can be brought to light to help you reduce the need for fillings or other treatment in the future.
- See the hygienist at regular intervals. A professional clean will help fight off gum disease and prevent decay. Appointments with your hygienist are an essential part of oral hygiene.
- Smoking is one of worst offender when it comes to gum disease. Ask your doctor for help in giving up.
- As dentists, we are highly qualified to identify oral cancer signs, and we always examine patients for this during their check-ups. By attending regular appointments with your dentist and by cutting back on drinking and smoking, you can help prevent cancer of the mouth.
If you already have noticed problems, there are some steps we can make in the surgery to help prevent cavities and gum disease. If you have deep fissures in any of your back teeth, they can become high-risk areas for decay. These teeth can be sealed with a treatment known as fissure sealant. The sealant prevents food from becoming trapped in the crevices, dramatically reducing the risk of decay. Early signs of decay can be treated by your dentist prescribing high strength fluoride toothpaste and monitoring the results. Severe decay will need to be removed, and you will need a white filling of composite or the traditional amalgam. If the nerve has been exposed, the tooth may need to be extracted, or you will need root canal treatment.
It is never too late to begin preventative measures to lessen the risk of decay and gum disease, but if you fear you will need treatment, and have a phobia of what that might entail, the dentists at The Dental Suite in Loughborough, Leicester and Nottingham can help. Their dentists are not only dental-phobia certified but are experts on sedation dentistry to help you overcome your fears and to change your opinion of your visits to the dentists.
Don’t delay. Call The Dental Suite and make an appointment to have your teeth checked and begin preventative treatment now.