Your teeth are an extremely hardwearing and tenacious part of the body, resistant to wear, tear and injury. But even teeth have their limits, and replacing a missing tooth can be both complex and costly. With this in mind, preventive measures are the most effective means of avoiding the need for tooth extraction. Here are 3 ways you can keep your natural teeth for as long as possible.
Don’t miss your hygienist appointments
It’s almost unbelievable when you hear that 33% of Brits miss their hygienist appointments every year. This is worrying, as the hygienist is responsible for your gum health and can flag up problems before they begin to need expensive and complex intervention; sometimes this can even mean a tooth being extracted. Think of your gums as little individual pocket houses for each tooth. If those pockets become inflamed because of poor oral hygiene, your teeth get evicted.
During routine hygienist appointments, the hygienist will clean the plaque and tartar from around your teeth, notably around the areas you can’t reach at home with a brush or with dental floss. Without a deep clean of your teeth (known as a scale and polish), performed by your hygienist, you risk developing periodontal disease and losing your teeth.
Smoking is something that affects virtually all of your body’s function in some way or another after enough time has gone by. Your teeth and gums are no exception. Research suggests that tobacco limits the blood flow to the gum tissues and in turn, this restricts vital nutrients from benefitting the bone that’s providing support to the teeth. Another consequence of smoking where your smile is concerned, is the build-up of plaque, which eventually causes accelerated periodontal disease and then tooth loss.
Watch what you’re putting in your mouth
Fuelling your body with the right or wrong foods will affect your oral and dental health. High-sugar foods are notorious for causing tooth decay as they cause a reaction in the mouth where acid is allowed to build-up and destroy your tooth enamel. Eating foods that stimulate saliva production will help to keep your mouth a healthy place. These include spinach, celery, broths and soups. Alcohol and caffeine are two big no-nos, being diuretics.
Dry mouth can cause poor oral health, because the absence of saliva means bacteria and food particles aren’t getting washed away in the way they should be. Particular medications can cause dry mouth; ask your doctor or dentist about the kind of medications that cause dry mouth, as you can then make a concerted effort to stay extra hydrated, to avoid having a dry mouth.
If you would like to book a routine hygienist appointment, please get in touch and we can book you here at our Norwich practice.