09 Oct 2020
Protect Your Smile With These 5 Important Habits
Some people say that laughter is the best medicine, and that’s definitely true. But when it comes to your dental health, prevention is the best medicine your money can buy… or save!
There are many quick and simple steps you can take to stop cavities, gum disease, and other serious issues before they ever develop.
With the right preventative action, you can enjoy the beauty and confidence of a bright white smile for the rest of your life. Use these five habits regularly to achieve long-lasting results.
#1: Cleaning and Exams
Visiting your San Diego, CA dentist every six months is an essential element of preventative care. Each appointment gives your dentist the opportunity to evaluate your gums, teeth, tongue, and throat. Most importantly, it gives your dentist the chance to take note of any changes since your last appointment. Even subtle changes can indicate a potential problem or concern.
Preventative oral care isn’t just about finding cavities; your dentist needs to assess the condition of your entire oral system. If you skip appointments or only see your dentist every few years, it becomes much harder to identify and treat problems like decay and disease before they cause widespread damage.
You can expect your dentist in San Diego, CA to perform the following steps in every cleaning and exam:
- Assess lymph nodes and lower jaw joints
- Check for signs of gum disease, loose or broken teeth, and decay
- Identify any change in the way your gums cover your teeth
- Consider the cleanliness and condition of your teeth and gums
Of course, every dental exam also involves a deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar that regular brushing and flossing often miss.Topical fluoride is added as a simple yet powerful way to protect teeth from cavities.
#2: Regular Oral Cancer Screenings
We all know somebody who has fought cancer. It’s a devastating disease, and some cancers are easier to prevent than others. Oral cancer is an especially severe type of cancer that forms inside the mouth and often develops without any obvious signs or symptoms.
If you smoke, you’re automatically at higher risk for oral cancer than a non-smoker. More than 70 of the 7,000 chemicals found in tobacco smoke are known carcinogens! A few other lifestyle choices and medical conditions may increase your risk for oral cancer as well:
- Heavy alcohol use
- Long-term unprotected sun exposure to your lips
- Pre-existing immune deficiency
- An STD called human papillomavirus (HPV)
Since it’s possible for mouth cancer to develop unnoticed on the lips, gums, tongue, roof or floor of mouth, and inner lining of the cheeks, it’s critical to undergo regular oral cancer screenings. Only a medical screening can identify signs you may not notice or consider threatening:
- Loose and wiggling teeth
- A growth inside your mouth
- Mouth and ear pain
- Non-healing lip or mouth sore
- Colored patches inside of your mouth
Oral cancer screenings are quick, simple, and non-invasive. Your dentist will examine your entire oral cavity, including your jaw, tongue, gumline, and throat. Though oral cancer affects nearly 50,000 Americans every year and kills almost 10,000 adults annually, it’s highly treatable with radiation therapy when detected early through an oral cancer screening!
Isn’t a 10-minute exam a small price to pay to save your life?
An X-ray is a form of electromagnetic radiation known for its use in producing images of internal body structures like bones and teeth. This is why digital x-ray imaging is such a valuable tool in dentistry.
Your dentist uses digital x-rays to produce detailed images of your teeth, gums, and bone. These x-rays offer insight into the condition of your mouth that may not otherwise be evident. Make sure you visit the dentist regularly to receive timely x-rays and give your dentist the opportunity to detect, diagnose, and treat existing conditions and diseases.
#4: Healthy Eating Habits
The food you eat also significantly influences your overall oral health. By choosing tooth-friendly foods, you can brighten your smile and make your brushing routine more powerful. When it comes to improving your oral health, no technique is easier than simply eating delicious food!
Swap Soda for Water
Soda lacks all redeeming qualities- its empty calories are bad for the body and its sugar and acid cause serious harm to your teeth. Fruit juice is just as bad. If you really want to do your body and mouth a favor, swap your daily soda and juice for water.
In addition to keeping your body hydrated, drinking water during and between meals helps wash food debris, acid, and bacteria off your teeth. It’s like a simple, natural mouthwash that removes sugar before it has a chance to cause damage.
Of course, water also reduces dry mouth and keeps your breath fresh. Drinking cool H20 instead of other high-sugar drinks is an effortless way to protect your mouth from unnecessary damage. You might be surprised by how much better it makes you feel!
As long as you’re not intolerant to dairy, cheese and yogurt are excellent and healthy food choices– as long as you select unprocessed yogurt and cheese options that are low in sugar. The protein and calcium found in dairy strengthen your teeth by remineralizing and rebuilding enamel that’s been compromised by acids and sugars.
AApples and almonds are two of the best crunchy foods for your teeth. They stimulate saliva production, which is an essential natural response to wash bacteria and stray food particles out of your mouth. As an added bonus, the crunch and texture of these foods may be satisfying enough to resist temptation from less healthy choices like sticky candies and potato chips.
Green veggies and green tea are both powerful sources of vitamins and antioxidants that combat dangerous inflammation and support production of red blood cells. Stock up on spinach, kale, and green tea to improve your gum health and reap the benefits of a healthy smile.
#5: Find a Preventative Dentistry Expert
At San Diego General Dentistry in San Diego, CA, Dr. William V. Carlo and his team are devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile using conserative, state-of-the-art procedures. Their goal is always to achieve long-lasting oral health and beautiful smiles.
Call (619) 285-0950 to book an appointment today with Dr. Carlo and give your mouth the TLC it deserves!