You may think that by the time you’re referred to an oral surgeon, the oral health ship has sailed, and there’s nothing more you can do. That couldn’t be further from the truth – you can always begin a tooth care regimen to prevent further damage. In fact, before and after oral surgery are two of the most important times to maintain your oral health.
Here are some important tips for keeping your teeth healthy.
Brush Your Teeth
Yes, this is the oldest oral health trick in the book, but we’ve chosen to reiterate it because it works and because many people aren’t brushing correctly or thoroughly. For the best results, use this procedure when brushing:
- Brush for at least two to three minutes
- Take care to reach all tooth surfaces, including the insides of the lower teeth and all surfaces of the back teeth
- Gently brush the gum line and surface of the tongue
- Brush at least twice per day, preferably after meals
Use the Right Tooth Cleaning Products
Your dentist gives you a toothbrush after every visit for a reason – the brushes they’ve chosen are ideal for the majority of patients. If you need to replace yours, choose a brush with soft bristles that will be easy on gums, and replace at least every six months. Use a fluoridated toothpaste in order to help harden your tooth enamel and avoid decay.
Flossing is one of the most frequently ignored dental health tips we give, but it’s also one of the most important. You should be flossing daily to remove cavity-causing buildup between your teeth. Use a gentle sawing motion and scrape the interior edges of each tooth, avoiding the sensitive gum line.
Limit Sugary or Acidic Food and Drink
Frequent consumption of acidic foods and drinks such as sodas and fruit juices can break down tooth enamel. Sugary foods such as candies and sugary gum, when mixed with the bacteria in plaque, can become acidic. Chewy, sticky candies are the worst, since they can become stuck in the ridges of the tooth surface and impact the tooth for extended periods of time.
Don’t Use Your Teeth for Anything but Food
Using your teeth to tear open packages, bite your nails, or any of those non-food related uses is excessively hard on your teeth. You can experience cracks, chips, or other dental injuries. If you have implants or other dental work, it’s even more important to avoid stressing your teeth in this way.
See Your Dentist Regularly
You should see your dentist at least once yearly for regularly scheduled cleanings. In addition, see your dentist for any abnormalities such as bleeding gums, tooth pain, and gum pain. Keep your dentist filled in regarding any additional issues or concerns to stay on top of any issues.