Maintaining good oral health is essential for a person’s overall health and well-being. Unhealthy teeth and gums can lead to various problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and even tooth loss.
The data from the Georgia Department of Public Health reveals a concerning state of oral health among individuals in Savannah and other urban areas of Georgia. Shockingly, only 29% of adults aged 45-64 were reported to have a full set of permanent teeth, indicating a high prevalence of tooth loss. Furthermore, tooth decay affects a staggering 48% of children in these regions.
Fluoridated water systems are one of the most effective ways to prevent tooth decay. Savannah, in particular, has a high concentration of fluoridated water, with approximately 92% of the population being served by such systems. This percentage significantly exceeds the national average of 69%.
These statistics and the efforts by the government with fluoridated water systems underscore the importance of maintaining good oral health.
This blog will explore six tips to maintain healthy teeth and gums:
- Preventive Dentistry
Preventive dentistry helps patients to maintain their teeth and gum health. It includes visiting a dentist for a 6-month checkup and effective dental hygiene practices at home.
In Savannah, it has been observed that a significant percentage of individuals with dental insurance, around 90%, are likely to seek out and follow through with prescribed dental treatments. However, the scenario is different for the uninsured population, with only 74.6% of them going for the recommended dental treatments. But by opting for affordable preventive dentistry in Savannah, individuals can take proactive steps to maintain their oral health regardless of their insurance status.
Regular dental checkups every six months allow dentists to identify potential issues early on, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or gingivitis. Dentists can also guide patients on home hygiene or suggest further assistance to keep their teeth and gums healthy if they detect any issues.
- Choose a Good Toothpaste
Superstore shelves contain many products in the toothpaste aisle. But in fancy packaging, many of these products do a lot of damage to teeth and gums. So, they might look authentic but could contain bleaching products claiming to whiten your teeth. Many others have baking soda that might make your teeth look visibly clean after a few washes. But since baking soda is erosive, it damages your tooth enamel.
When choosing a toothpaste, ensure the packaging has an ADA approval stamp. Also, read up on the ingredients mentioned on the packaging and ditch anything with baking soda or bleaching agents. Choose a fluoride toothpaste that doesn’t give over-the-top guarantees. And once you find a good toothpaste or something your dentist recommends, stick with it.
Another important thing to do after choosing a good toothpaste is to keep it capped. Many people commonly leave their toothpaste tubes uncapped. In the bathroom, moisture can make fluoride ineffective. When the essential ingredient in your toothpaste loses effectiveness, it cannot protect your teeth, and you’re at a high risk of gum diseases and tooth decay.
- Quit Smoking
Teeth and gum health maintenance is another reason to quit smoking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a smoker faces twice as much risk for gum disease than a non-smoker. Also, if a smoker has gotten gum disease, treatments might be ineffective, leading to tooth decay and early tooth loss.
One reason that smoking impacts gum and teeth health is that it negatively impacts the immune system. Once the immune system is weak, body organs are prone to diseases, including a person’s gums.
Another reason to quit smoking is the smoker’s teeth. Even if your gums are healthy, smoking can cause your teeth to turn brown or yellowish, significantly impacting your physical appearance.
- Never Brush After Drinking These Things
Your teeth get exposed to everything you eat, drink, or inhale from your mouth. Molecules in foods and drinks stick to the tooth and are detrimental to your tooth enamel. You think brushing is the best way to get rid of these particles stuck to your teeth, but this is not always recommended.
Dentists recommend not brushing your teeth after consuming some specific drinks. These drinks include orange juice, water with vinegar or citrus, soda, or coffee. The acidity in these drinks is what can cause damage to your enamel if you brush right after.
Damage to your enamel increases tooth sensitivity. You could also develop an infection and are more prone to tooth decay if your enamel is damaged.
It would be best to rinse your mouth and wait for 90 minutes before you brush your teeth.
- Floss and Mouthwash
Apart from toothpaste and toothbrush, floss and mouthwash are important to your oral hygiene. Flossing helps remove tartar from your teeth, while a good mouthwash helps reduce tartar buildup. Mouthwash also reduces the amount of plaque in the teeth and freshens your breath.
While mouthwash can be a valuable addition to your oral care routine, it should not be used as a substitute for brushing or flossing. Each of these practices (flossing, brushing, and mouthwash) serves a unique purpose in maintaining oral health, and they work best when used together.
- Maintain and Brushing Routine
The requirement for brushing twice a day, every day, is common knowledge. However, people are not generally aware of the effects of overbrushing their teeth. This means that brushing more than two times a day is as harmful to your teeth as brushing after drinking diluted apple cider vinegar. Overbrushing or brushing vigorously can wear down your enamel and cause receding gums.
Another tip is that when you brush your teeth, don’t forget to brush your tongue since it harbors bacteria, food debris, and dead cells. An unclean tongue can contribute to bad breath and oral health issues. Gently brush your tongue with a toothbrush or use a tongue scraper for the task.
Oral health is very important for children and adults alike. However, it becomes even more crucial for people residing in communities where oral health figures are staggeringly poor and there is a greater need to offer more affordable treatments.
We hope this article was helpful for those looking for some tips to maintain healthy gums and teeth. After all, we all want a healthy smile that can make us feel good about ourselves, right?