Taking care of your teeth and maintaining proper oral health is essential at any age. Understanding some of the routine dental services that are commonly missed or neglected can help you determine if you need to make any changes to your daily oral health regimen. When you know the biggest mistakes you may be making when it comes to your teeth, you can also seek out the routine dental services you may need to help get you back on track.
1. Lack of Brushing
One of the biggest mistakes that individuals make that leads to a need for additional routine dental services is a lack of brushing. Brushing your teeth is one of the most important habits you need to establish as early on as possible, especially after all of your permanent teeth have come in. Brushing your teeth is recommended at least twice a day, once in the morning and in the evening. However, it is optimal to brush and floss your teeth after every meal if you want to be as proactive as possible about maintaining good oral health.
Risks of a Lack of Brushing
Avoiding brushing your teeth will not only lead to bad breath, which can be off-putting in social situations, but it can also lead to the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth. Additionally, a lack of brushing can also allow food to remain in your mouth, causing bacteria to grow and fester, leading to cavities and the need for extractions or crowns, depending on the condition of your teeth at the time you visit a dentist. When you avoid brushing your teeth, your oral health will suffer significantly as the years pass.
If you do not brush your teeth regularly, you may need to visit dental offices more frequently for tooth decay treatment. In some cases, you may also need to search for an aesthetic treatment to help with whitening your teeth. Not brushing your teeth over a period of time can lead to decay and yellowing, which is also why it’s essential to invest in a proper toothbrush each time you make a new purchase.
Tips to Help Brush Your Teeth Regularly
Establishing good habits typically takes 21 days of commitment. If you want to improve your oral health, commit to brushing your teeth first thing in the morning as soon as you wake up. This will allow you to establish the habit over a short period of time.
After your last meal and before bed each night, encourage yourself by rewarding yourself with a treat at the end of the week if you are successful at sticking to your goals. The more proactive you are in changing your current habits, the more likely positive habits are to stick, especially if you want them to remain permanent. Be sure to praise yourself each time you brush your teeth to help rewire your brain to associate the task with a positive feeling, rather than feeling as if brushing your teeth is a hassle or chore.
2. Inadequate Flossing
Another one of the biggest mistakes you can make that leads to the need for more routine dental services is not flossing enough. Inadequate flossing is oftentimes worse than simply not brushing, as flossing helps to clean between teeth, which is where most food and bacteria become trapped and begin to spread. It is recommended to floss after each meal or snack you consume to minimize the risk of allowing bacteria to cause damage to any of your teeth.
3. Not Visiting Your Dentist Regularly
Scheduling routine dental services is essential, even if your teeth are in proper condition, and you do not believe you have any cavities. Whether you are a child, adolescent, or grown adult, it’s recommended to schedule an appointment with your local dentist once every six months for a thorough cleaning and check-up. If you are not visiting your dentist regularly, you have a much greater risk of developing cavities or in some cases, even gum diseases.
Benefits of Seeing a Dentist Regularly
While it may not be enjoyable for everyone, visiting general dentists regularly is essential to protect and preserve your teeth for as long as possible. Taking care of your teeth at home is one way to help protect your teeth, but your dentist can also provide you with a thorough cleaning and checkup to prevent any minor issues from becoming major dental emergencies that require an emergency dentist. Seeing a dentist on a regular basis will also help them to become much more familiar with your personal needs as an individual patient to ensure you receive the best care possible throughout your life.
4. Consuming Too Much Sugar
Consuming too much sugar in your daily diet can quickly lead to cavities, landing you in a dental clinic or even in pain centers if you are experiencing tooth and nerve pain that is out of control. Sugar is one of the biggest contributors to the decay of teeth. In order to minimize the risk of tooth decay, cavities, or in severe cases, even tooth loss, steer clear of consuming too much sugar.
Tips on How to Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Reducing your sugar intake is possible by learning about a wide variety of ingredients and how they impact the body. Becoming familiar with reading nutritional labels and taking the time to learn about macronutrients and micronutrients will also help you feel much more confident when you are shopping for the ingredients you need to protect and preserve your oral health. Remain aware of each meal or snack you consume along with its sugar content.
When you are visiting a local grocery store, avoid shopping for processed foods or foods with high amounts of sugar. Instead, stick to shopping the outer aisles of the store, as that is typically where you are most likely to find foods that are free from added sugar, such as meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and some fruits. Find recipes that do not require excessive amounts of sugar and any time you do consume sugar, be sure to brush and floss your teeth immediately afterward.
5. Avoiding X-Rays
One of the most routine dental services that is common around the world includes X-rays. X-rays are typically provided during routine checkups and cleanings by traditional family dentists as well as orthodontists. Obtaining X-rays is highly recommended at least once every six months, or when you visit the dentist, to ensure there are no underlying issues that need to be addressed.
If you choose to avoid X-rays, there is a greater risk of developing preventable issues or problems with your teeth and gum that present themselves later on. If you want to ensure you are able to obtain all the necessary services each time you visit your dentist, you can do so by seeking an affordable insurance plan that also includes dental coverage. Finding the right insurance plan can make a significant difference in the quality of care you are also able to receive, depending on where you currently live and the dentists and dental clinics that are located near you.
How to Find the Right Insurance Plan for You
Researching dental insurance is possible by working with an agent through your preferred insurance provider, over the phone or in some cases, in person. You can also search for dental insurance and the coverage you need online. When comparing providers online, be sure to find verified reviews from patients to select the plan that is right for you.
6. Storing Your Toothbrush Poorly
One mistake that you may not think of when it comes to taking care of your teeth is your toothbrush storage. Poor toothbrush storage can lead to an accumulation of germs and bacteria, especially if you are currently living in a household with numerous people. Choosing where you store your toothbrush can mean the difference between keeping your mouth clean and clear and exposing yourself to unnecessary bacteria.
Tips on Storing Your Toothbrush
When you are putting your toothbrush away after you have brushed it, consider doing so in a medicine cabinet or in another compartment that is not exposed to the open air in the rest of your bathroom. Investing in a toothbrush storage solution that is enclosed is another way to minimize the exposure your toothbrush has to a variety of bacteria. If you choose to invest in a toothbrush storage container, be sure to clean it regularly.
Unfortunately, if you are a smoker of tobacco, you have an increased risk of requiring more routine dental services than individuals who do not currently smoke. Smoking not only causes teeth to yellow over time, but it can also cause damage to the teeth, weakening them throughout years or even decades of inhaling or, in some cases, even chewing tobacco. If you are a smoker, you not only have an increased risk of poor oral health but also of lung cancer and heart disease.
Tips on How to Stop Smoking
Tobacco is one of the most highly addictive, yet popular substances that is legally available on the market. While tobacco is legal, it is also extremely toxic, leading to millions of deaths around the world each year. Unfortunately, smoking cessation can be complex and will require plenty of willpower and a commitment to overcoming your habit in order to succeed.
If you are seriously committed to stopping smoking, you can do so by going cold turkey or stopping completely without weaning off. For some, weaning themselves off by lowering the number of cigarettes they smoke each day can help reduce cravings. Seeking assistance from a doctor is optimal if you are interested in pursuing the route of a nicotine patch or chewing gum.
8. Not Drinking Enough Water
If you want to reduce the number of routine dental services you require on an annual basis, it’s also important to drink enough water. Individuals who do not drink enough water are at risk of allowing cavities to build in the mouth. Drinking water is not only useful for staying hydrated, but it is also extremely important to maintain proper oral health at any age.
Tips to Drink More Water Each Day
Drinking more water is much easier when you keep a bottle or cup filled with your preferred water next to you throughout the day, even while you are working. You can also drink water with each of your meals and snacks to help keep you full and satiated for extended periods of time. Set a goal for how much water you intend to drink each day to remain focused and stay on track when you are filling up your cup or bottle.
9. Avoiding Vitamins and Minerals
Unfortunately, many people underestimate the power of vitamins and minerals. Ensuring you are eating a healthy diet with adequate vitamins and minerals is not always easy, especially if you have a busy and hectic schedule each day. If you are unable to obtain the vitamins and minerals that are recommended for you on a daily basis, it is advisable to invest in the vitamins or minerals you may be lacking each day.
Investing in vitamins and minerals can help you not only feel stronger, but they can also preserve and protect your teeth. Ensuring you are consuming enough calcium and vitamin D matters when it comes to your teeth. A vitamin D deficiency is one of the leading deficiencies around the world, which can lead to the breakdown and loss of bone over a period of time, including the loss of teeth. When you are starting a new vitamin or mineral supplement for the first time, it’s best to consult with your doctor to verify that you are choosing an ideal brand and dosage that is right for you and your specific needs.
Taking care of your teeth by brushing and flossing each day is imperative to ensure you are protecting and preserving your teeth as best as possible. Scheduling appointments for routine dental services at least once every six months is also advisable, regardless of your age. When you are committed to routine dental services and taking care of your teeth at home, it is much easier to prevent major issues or dental emergencies from arising at any time.