Our teeth say a lot about us, and anyway, who doesn’t want a great smile? As you undoubtedly have heard all of your life, each of us only gets one set of permanent teeth, so we need to do our very best to protect and take care of them. Here are three simple ways to do just that.
What many people don’t think about is that one of the biggest factors in the health of our teeth and gums is our diet. A diet rich in healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole foods is much better than one full of processed sugars and carbohydrates. Not only does an overabundance of sugar increase our risk for tooth decay and gum disease, it has been shown to lead to a host of metabolic diseases including diabetes and obesity, but even heart disease and cancer! So first, let’s make an effort to reduce the sugars and carbohydrates in our diet. Your teeth will thank you!
Secondly, we need to protect our teeth. In my dental practice over the last few years, I have examined an increasing number of people who clench and grind their teeth. While there can be many different apparent causes for this behavior, the most likely cause is daily stress. Our bodies endure psychologically a flurry of stressful activities during the day, and we then respond physiologically to these stresses by clenching and grinding of teeth at night. This repetitive activity can be quite dangerous because it can lead to jaw pain, muscle soreness, and excessive tooth wear and damage. One easy way to counteract clenching and grinding your teeth is to consider wearing a custom fitted mouth-guard at night. These simple devices have been shown to greatly reduce the effects of parafunctional habits like clenching and grinding.
Lastly, keep them clean! Ideally, we need to brush and floss after every meal, and especially at night before going to bed. Plaque left on the surface of teeth causes enamel damage and subsequent decay. And mechanical brushes have made frequent brushing so much easier, as they move in a much more efficient manner to clean the surface of the teeth, while not being overly damaging to the gums. Also, do not forget about flossing! I know; I know: you’ve heard that command for years; however, on any given day in my practice, I commonly find decay occurring between the teeth, often more readily than on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. You can easily remedy this problem by flossing regularly to remove food and plaque from in between your teeth. Just remember that every surface of the tooth deserves the same attention!
Following these three simple tips, you will be providing a wonderful service to improve the health of your teeth and gums.
For more information, please visit us at www.tiekdental.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tiekdental, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/brandontiek Let’s do our best to take care of ourselves, not only this summer, but always! Play it safe and keep all of your teeth for the rest of your life. That way, everyone will truly enjoy your smile! Have a safe and happy summer!