Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily isn’t enough today to maintain a healthy smile. People need to take additional steps to protect their teeth. Brushing and flossing help to remove food particles that can lead to cavities. However, plaque builds on the teeth over time, which is why regular visits to the dentist are essential. In addition, there are other steps a person can take to maintain their smile. These steps are outlined below.

Visit the Dentist Regularly

Visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. This visit involves more than cleaning the teeth. The hygienist and dentist both look for any problems brewing in the mouth. If they see signs of a cavity, steps can be taken to repair the damage before it worsens. In addition, they look for signs of oral cancer, gingivitis, and more.

What many people don’t realize is the dentist can also spot other health issues during a regular checkup. For example, thrush is a sign of diabetes, and the dentist may spot this during the exam. They can then send the patient to their doctor for further testing to determine if it is diabetes or another health issue that needs attention. Make an appointment today with cedarcreekdentist.com to have a checkup and cleaning.

Teeth Whitening

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Teeth whitening treatments brighten the smile in only one visit. In fact, with the help of the dentist, a person can whiten their teeth by several shades. Once this treatment is complete, the patient must speak with the dentist to see how to keep their smile bright. However, these treatments don’t last forever. They must be repeated every few months to several years. Maintenance treatments might be needed between whitening sessions as well.

Use Proper Brushing Techniques

People often brush their teeth too hard. Use circular motions to clean the teeth, but don’t press too hard. Using force when brushing the teeth can damage the enamel and make the teeth more susceptible to cavities. The wrong brushing technique can also harm the gums. If a person brushes too hard, the gums may begin receding. Anyone who uses an electric toothbrush should let the brush do the work. The key lies in ensuring every tooth’s surface is cleaned.

Use a Straw

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When a person drinks a sweet or acidic drink or one that may stain the teeth, use a straw. The type of straw used doesn’t matter because all will limit contact between the teeth and the drink. Doing so will limit staining of the teeth and possibly help to protect them from cavities.

Avoid Tobacco Use

Anyone who smokes or chews tobacco needs to stop immediately. Smoking not only causes gum disease, but it can also mask it. This habit can also lead to plaque build-up and other health issues. By quitting, a person can not only reduce their risk of oral health issues, but health issues in general. Chewing tobacco also puts a person’s oral health at risk. A person who chews tobacco is at higher risk of gum disease and mouth cancer. Speak to the dentist if help is needed in quitting.

Dental Sealants

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A dentist may recommend dental sealants. These sealants protect the teeth to prevent decay. They are commonly used on molars because these teeth are difficult to clean. This sealant reduces the grooves that are known to trap food particles and make the molars easier to brush. The CDC reports the use of dental sealants can reduce cavities in the molars by 80 percent, but they only last two years.

If a dentist doesn’t recommend sealants, a parent should request them for their school-age children. Young adults also benefit from sealants and should discuss this treatment option with their dentist. Doing so reduces the risk of cavities and keeps dental treatment costs down.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Sugary foods increase a person’s risk of cavities. However, carbohydrates can also bring about cavities because they stick to the teeth. The tooth surface is exposed to the food for a longer period, and the carbohydrates break down into sugars. To prevent cavities, it’s best to limit sugary foods and those laden with carbohydrates.

Snack on fruits and vegetables. They are better for the teeth. Apples provide fluoride for the teeth naturally and are high in water and fiber. This helps to stimulate the gums while encouraging saliva production. Greens provide vitamins and calcium, which are good for tooth enamel.

Never Open Things With the Teeth

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Avoid opening things with the teeth. Although it is convenient to do so, the teeth could be harmed in the process. Every time a person opens something with their teeth, they run the risk of breaking one or more teeth. Avoid doing this to protect the teeth from harm.

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride is a natural treatment that helps make the teeth stronger. Fluoride is present in both food and water. However, as more people drink bottled water, they may find they don’t get enough fluoride naturally. A dentist can offer fluoride treatments to make up for the lack of fluoride in the diet. In addition, people who don’t eat a healthy diet may need fluoride treatments. Speak to the dentist to see if they would be of benefit. Fluoride strengthens the teeth and protects them from damage, so speak to the dentist to learn whether these treatments would be beneficial.

Use Mouth Guards

Individuals who play sports need to wear mouth guards when doing so. The guard protects the teeth from harm when playing. Choose a custom-fitted mouth guard to protect the lips and gums during normal sporting activities.

Prevention is key to a healthy mouth. Many people struggle to get back on their right track when their oral health deteriorates. However, doing so is critical. People who have healthy teeth and gums actually live longer than individuals with poor oral health. Anyone who needs help in this area should make an appointment with their dentist today. With the right care, a person can restore the health of their mouth. It all begins with this visit, so make an appointment today.