Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ten Tips to Optimize Dental Health … It Takes More than Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing are very important to your daily dental routine. If you do both as a part of your daily regiment, you increase your dental hygiene and decrease chances of decay and gum disease. Here are some other factors and tips that will help you keep your teeth and a healthy smile for a lifetime.

1. Do not let affordability or fear keep you from the dentist’s chair. Many people do not visit the dentist for two reasons: because they think it will cost too much and because they think it will be painful. True. Visiting the dentists office can be costly and painful, but only more so if people ignore their dental health. American Dental Plan is the most affordable discount network program and alternative to dental insurance. Membership includes a free annual exam and four x-rays, which covers the cost of membership. Do not ignore the dentist or your teeth. Your dental health is a key factor to your overall health.

2. Be aware of oral issues and dental needs. Your oral health includes a proper diet, which dictates many other things, such as: production of saliva, acidity, and cavities caused by too much sugar. What you put in your mouth impacts your teeth and your health. In addition, medications, pregnancy illness and disease can influence changes in your body and dental health. Ask your doctor how your afflictions or prescriptions will affect your teeth and gums.

3. Commit to a daily oral health routine, which includes brushing and flossing.
Talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about your oral health practices. Based on the discussion, come up with an effective routine. It should be easy to remember and follow. You may want to add fluoride rinse or whitening products to your routine. Ask your dentist or hygienist about their treatments and to recommend products.

4. Fluoride products are not just for kids. Fluoride can be an added benefit for all, not just children. Although fluoride helps strengthen their teeth as they grow and develop, but it also helps prevent decay for all age groups. Toothpastes and mouthwashes contain fluoride, but your dentist can also prescribe a stronger concentration of fluoride in a gel, toothpaste or rinse.

5. Brush, Floss, Repeat. It is a good habit to brush twice a day – even better to brush after every meal. In addition, you should floss at least once a day, because it helps remove plaque, which is vital to your dental health. Plaque is the bacteria that forms on your teeth and if it is not removed often, it builds up and can cause gingivitis, periodontal disease and decay.

6. Limit sugary snacks and beverages high in fructose corn syrup. It is wise to eat healthy to stay healthy. Foods high in sugars and starches provide more fuel for bacteria, plaque and decay. Reduce your intake of sugary foods and beverages, and brush after consumption.

7. Daily vitamin and mineral supplements help keep teeth nourished. A balanced diet is very important. Sometimes life gets hectic and we eat poorly and do not get enough nourishment. Taking daily supplements can offset imbalances and boost your health and well-being. Look for a quality vitamin and mineral supplement that has plenty of Calcium, and vitamins K and D.

8. Smoking and tobacco consumption are bad for your oral health.
Smoking or using chewing tobacco increases your risk of oral cancer, gingivitis, periodontitis and tooth decay. Using tobacco also contributes to bad breath and stains on your teeth. Talk to your doctor and dentist about risks and ways to quit the habit. Regular examinations are particularly important for tobacco users who are at increased risk of developing lesions and growths.

9. It is your mouth, you should know what’s inside. Even if you visit your dentist on a regular basis, examine your mouth and look for changes that might be of concern, such as: swollen gums, dark discoloration on teeth and gums, chips in teeth, and sores or lesions on gums, cheeks and tongue.

10. Don’t delay on decay … visit the dental office, regularly. Talk to your dentist about how often you should visit, based upon your individual oral health and plaque production. If you have a history of cavities or crown and bridge work, or are wearing braces, you should visit the dentist more often. Diabetics and smokers should visit the dentist more often in addition to people with suppressed immune systems.