Despite the excellent dental services that exist in the United States, tooth decay and diseases remain a significant problem in our country. In fact, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in the U.S., and gum disease affects nearly 75% of all Americans. Preventive dental techniques can improve overall dental hygiene and lower the risk of tooth decay and other dental diseases that can cause tooth loss, discoloration, and even more severe health problems. What can people do to keep their teeth healthy?
1. See Your Dentist on a Regular Basis – Attending regular dental checkups is a crucial factor in preventing dental issues. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children start seeing a dentist by the time they are one year old. This is an important step for starting your child off on the right track to good oral hygiene, and pediatric dentists can educate parents on how to help their children take care of their teeth. It is important to seek out family dental services for young children, but this does not mean that you should stop going as you get older. While some people may not need to go as often as others, going in for a dental checkup even once a year can help prevent issues.
2. Brush Your Teeth – Brushing your teeth is another critical step to preventing tooth decay and disease. Food can get caught in teeth after meals, and if food particles remain in your teeth for too long, they can cause cavities. Brushing your teeth twice a day helps to remove plaque build up and food that may have gotten stuck in your teeth throughout the day. Brushing is important, but replacing your toothbrush on a regular basis is also necessary. Studies show that approximately 75% of people in the U.S. do not replace their toothbrush as often as they should.
3. Floss and Fluoride – Flossing can help get to those hard-to-reach places in between teeth that a toothbrush might miss. As important as flossing is to maintaining healthy teeth, almost 20% of people in the U.S. don’t do it. Flossing at least once a day is highly recommended by the American Dental Association. Maintaining a steady level of fluoride is also a preventive measure that can protect teeth. Fluoride not only prevents tooth decay, but can also reverse its effects. The ADA recommends that both children and adults use fluoride toothpaste to protect teeth. Children should also receive fluoride treatments from their dentists.
What if You Still Have Dental Issues?
Taking preventive measures to fight tooth decay and disease is crucial for maintaining good oral hygiene, but some people may still have issues no matter how careful they are. Tooth decay can cause tooth discoloration and even tooth loss, both of which can make a person self conscious about their smile. Luckily, cosmetic dentistry has come a long way and there are many solutions available. Teeth whitening, veneers and dental implants are just a few cosmetic dentistry methods for restoring a healthy smile. If you take good care of your teeth but still have issues that are keeping you from smiling, cosmetic dentistry can help.