Taking care of your teeth is important because once the pearly whites fall out, there is no getting them back! Maintaining healthy teeth and gums can prevent gum disease and the need for dentures. Here are some quick tips for keeping the mouth in tip-top shape.
Step 1: Conduct a regular examination. Every few months, inspect the mouth for sores, tongue flaking, and red or white patches. Do not forget to examine all sides of the tongue. Mouth cancer is rare but even non-smokers can get it. Early detection provides the best chances of winning the battle. Contact a dentist regarding any abnormality that does not disappear in two weeks.
Step 2: Treat canker sores. These painful sores usually arise when you are stressed. Treat them with topical pain relievers like Orajel or Anbesol. If the sores are especially painful, consult with a dentist to determine whether a soft-tissue laser treatment is recommended.
Step 3: Freshen breathe. Regularly brush the teeth and the back of the tongue. This removes odor-causing bacteria. Mouthwash only masks the issue and can actually make it worse. Many mouthwashes contain alcohol, a substance that reduces the flow of saliva and dries the gums. Germs can then multiply. If the bad breath is not resolved by brushing, consult with a dentist.
Step 4: Don’t forget the back of the mouth. It is easy to skip the rear of the mouth during teeth brushing. Open the mouth just slightly to keep the cheeks out of the way and do some serious brushing back there.
Step 5: Floss, floss, floss. This is one of most hated, and also most necessary, steps in responsible mouth care. Gum pockets reach three to four millimeters under the gum line, but toothbrush bristles only reach down one millimeter. Those who don’t floss allow food to sit and bacteria to begin feeding.