Everyone will see the dentist at some point in their lives. If you’re lucky, you will only see the dentist when you need to get your teeth cleaned or whitened. But if you’re someone who neglects their teeth by ignoring their basic dental healthcare needs, then you can expect to need a lot more dental work than a mere teeth cleaning or whitening procedure.
There are two reasons why you should never ignore your dental hygiene. First, advanced dental procedures can be quite expensive. Patients who need dental treatments like crowns, dentures, extractions, caps, and implants will pay at least 10 to 20 times more than they would for a cleaning. If you don’t have dental insurance, then your expense could be thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. Most people cannot afford this much money out of pocket.
Second, the consequences of having poor dental health can be substantial. You could end up with tooth pains, bleeding gums, missing teeth, cracked teeth, or cavity-filled teeth. Not only will these dental conditions be painful and inconvenient, but they’ll also reduce your self-confidence and self-esteem as well. According to a study that was published by the University of Florida Health, you have a greater chance of getting heart disease if you have bleeding gums due to bad dental hygiene.
Therefore, you’ll want to do whatever is necessary to avoid seeing the dentist. But this doesn’t mean you neglect your dental health when you need professional dental services. It simply means that you’ll want to take great care of your teeth and gums on your own. That way, you’ll never be in a situation where you need to go to the dentist and pay for expensive dental treatments and procedures.
According to the American Dental Association, 59% of men and women say that cost is the main reason why they avoid going to the dentist. Many of these people require dental care, but they don’t go simply to avoid the high costs of dental services. If you feel the same way, then why neglect your dental health any further? It is a lot cheaper to purchase an electric toothbrush and toothpaste then it is to get a dental procedure done.
To help you save your dental health, below are the top 5 things you can do to avoid seeing the dentist.
Brush Your Teeth Daily
It should be no surprise that brushing your teeth every day is the best way to avoid seeing the dentist. Ever since childhood, we’ve been taught that brushing your teeth is how you avoid getting cavities. As we get older, many of us neglect to keep up with our teeth brushing regimen. This is when disaster strikes for your dental health.
Your mouth is constantly filled with plaque and bacteria. You cannot see plaque or bacteria, but they are on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance which eventually forms tarter, which is something you can see. It often appears as an accumulation of yellowish deposits on your teeth. If you don’t brush your teeth to control the buildup of plaque, then it will eventually lead to tooth decay. The bacteria on the plaque contains acids which break down the protective enamel shell of the teeth. If you let this problem persist, then you’ll develop periodontal diseases like periodontitis and gingivitis.
When you brush your teeth, try to use fluoridated toothpaste on the bristles of the brush. Fluoride will strengthen your tooth enamel and lower the chances of tooth decay. But don’t brush too aggressively because you could hurt your gums doing that. Brush gently while the bristles are on your teeth only.
Floss Your Teeth Daily
Both adults and children do not floss nearly as much as they should. Even if they brush their teeth responsibly, many of them do not implement flossing into their daily dental care regimen. It is best to floss after each meal because food particles get stuck in the crevices of your teeth as you chew your food. If you don’t remove these particles, then you’re increasing the chances of developing bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Consume Teeth-Friendly Foods and Beverages
The foods and beverages which you consume have a huge impact on the health of your teeth. If you want to avoid having to see the dentist, then you need to give your mouth a “dental diet.” This is where you watch what you eat and drink for the purpose of preserving the health of your teeth. If you consume something that is sugary, carbonated, or acidic, then it’ll do the most damage to the enamel of your teeth. That is why you’ll want to look for foods which are nonacidic, uncarbonated, and sugar-free.
According to a report that was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people between 6 and 19 years old will develop cavities more than any other chronic disease. Since young people tend to think they’re invincible, they don’t ordinarily think about how the foods they eat will affect their dental health. It is only when they have cavities and tooth pains that they finally reconsider their food choices.
Good Foods and Beverages
Below are examples of good foods and beverages for your teeth:
Cheese – When you chew on cheese, its natural compounds will reduce the acidity levels in your mouth. This also means that it can reduce the level of plaque on your teeth as well.
Water – This is the best liquid to consume as a beverage. It is natural, healthy, and does a good job of cleansing your mouth and body. Most importantly, it’ll help wash away a lot of the acids, sugars, and other food particles which might be stuck to your teeth.
Milk – You can keep your teeth strong by consuming a lot of calcium. Dairy products like milk are great to consume because they’ll naturally strengthen your teeth. If you can find milk with Vitamin D in it, your body will absorb the calcium better.
Meat – Aside from calcium, you can get stronger teeth and bones from consuming phosphorus. You can find an abundance of this mineral in protein-rich foods like beef and poultry, but you can also find it in eggs and fish too.
Fruits and Vegetables – You’ve always been told to eat fruits and vegetables, but did you know they can help boost saliva production in your mouth? Some people say fruits add sugars to your mouth, which are supposed to be bad for your teeth. But the water and fiber content of the fruits will balance out the sugars and keep the teeth clean.
Below are examples of bad foods and beverages for your teeth:
Potato Chips – Starchy foods like potato chips are not good for your teeth. Once the starch turns into sugar, the bacteria on your teeth will feed on it and spread further. Do yourself a favor and avoid potato chips. The salt on them is also bad for your internal health anyway.
Soda & Carbonated Beverages – Carbonated beverages like soda are highly acidic. They’ll cause the existing plaque on your teeth to generate additional acids that’ll further diminish the enamel of your teeth. The carbonation will dry out your mouth so that you don’t produce enough saliva. You can expect teeth stains too.
Ice – You might wonder why ice is bad for your teeth since it’s only frozen water. The problem is that ice is a hard substance which can damage your enamel or possibly chip or crack your teeth if you chew on it. You should only use ice to cool down your beverages. Don’t get into the habit of chewing on ice or your teeth will suffer for it.
Bread – There are little to no healthy breads available in the grocery stores. Most breads that you see in the store contain starches and sugars, which you know are both bad for your teeth. What’s worse is the bread particles can easily get stuck in between your teeth. Since they’re comprised of starches and sugars, you’ll end up developing cavities without even realizing it.
Hard Candy – You should always avoid candy because of its high sugar content. The only thing worse than regular candy is hard candy. Not only does it still have high levels of sugar, but it’s also a hard substance that is dangerous for your teeth. There will be moments where you’ll chew on the hard candy a little bit without even realizing it. That is truly bad for your teeth and its enamel.
Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco Products
There is nothing good about drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking or chewing tobacco products. When most people think about the dangers of alcohol, they typically think about how alcohol can impair judgment and influence the ability to make conscientious decisions behind the wheel of a car. But what they don’t often think about is how alcohol can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
There are a couple of things bad about alcohol where your oral health is concerned. According to Heathline.com, alcohol makes your mouth dry. This is bad because your mouth depends on saliva to stop food particles from getting stuck to your teeth. If you don’t have any saliva in your mouth, then particles from all the foods you eat will get stuck to your mouth. If there are sugars, acids, preservatives, and other chemicals in these foods, then your enamel will suffer the consequences.
Oral hydration is the key to avoiding a dry mouth problem. You cannot hydrate your mouth with alcohol, so stick to good old-fashioned purified water. That’ll help wash away the food particles from your teeth and send them down your throat where they belong. However, it’ll be difficult to keep your mouth clean and hydrated if you’re consuming tobacco products. Smoking cigarettes is horrible for your teeth for so many reasons. The initial symptoms of smoking are stained teeth. But as you continue to smoke over the years, you’ll develop tooth decay, tooth loss, and gum disease. The worst-case scenario is you end up with oral cancer.
Only Use Your Teeth for Chewing Food
We are all mammals, and sometimes our primitive instincts make us want to use our teeth for more than just chewing a delicious steak. For instance, if you have trouble opening a package or envelope, don’t try to tear open the tape or paper with your teeth. You could accidentally chip your teeth on something unexpected in the package. Also, don’t open any bottle tops or plastic wrappers with your teeth either. Use a knife, bottle opener, scissors, or whatever tool you need to use to open your item. Leave your teeth out of it.
Your teeth are a lot more fragile than you may realize. There are people who chip their teeth from chewing on firm foods like almonds and apples. So, it would be highly unwise to chew on materials which are not even edible. Anything hard or irregularly shaped that you bite down on will be harmful to your teeth. It is not worth the risk since you only get one set of adult teeth. You must treat them well.
When you look at this list closely, it is not that hard to avoid seeing the dentist. Brushing your teeth and flossing should not take more than 5 to 10 minutes out of each day. Surely you can spare that much time to preserve the health of your teeth and gums. You probably spend more time eating each meal of the day.
For many people, the most difficult tasks will be avoiding the consumption of certain foods, beverages, and tobacco products. After all, sugary and acidic content does not always come from junk food alone. You can also get it from certain fruits, grains, dairy products, and meats. Now that you have some knowledge about this, perhaps you can choose your meal choices more wisely in the future.
There are dozens of reasons to avoid consuming alcohol and tobacco products. These are both stimulants which do nothing but cause health problems both mentally, physically, and orally. If you can refrain from ever consuming another alcohol beverage or tobacco product, then you’ll do a lot of good for your dental and oral health in general.
And, of course, don’t use your teeth like a dog. Human teeth are more fragile, and they should only be used for chewing food. If you can stick to these 5 tips, then you should only need to see the dentist once or twice per year for your scheduled cleanings.
Do not forget about the cleanings because they’re also important for preserving the health of your teeth. According to Beacon Dental Partners, deep cleaning session should cost you no more than $70 with dental insurance. The average dental insurance plan will cover a tooth polishing service twice per year.
Good luck with avoiding the dentist!