If your budget cannot afford you to go too often to the dentist, because some of dental treatments might be out of your price range and you don’t have dental insurance, the best solution for you is to perform an at-home checkup yourself monthly.
There are consultation kits especially made for patients. You can buy one online or ask for it in your pharmacy. They are equipped with a little mirror, a probe which you can use to find some possible issues, such as caries, gum bleeding, chipped teeth, checking interdental spaces or others.
You can gently tap your teeth slightly and see if there is any pain or discomfort doing this. If you observe any abnormalities or pain, call for an appointment at your dentist. This home check-up should not replace the twice a year visits to the dentist which are so necessary.
In addition, the following advice can reduce/prevent the main oral issues and, consequently, reduce any emergency visits to your dentist:
- Reducing of sugar intake means the bacteria does not have enough supplies to provide dental plaque.
- Reduce acidic fruits and drinks because they have a demineralization effect on enamel.
- Eat as many fruits and vegetable as you can. They have a lower rate of plaque settle, due of self-cleaning, in opposition with soft, sticky food that gets blocked in gaps and spaces around the teeth and provides great foundation for plaque.
- Drink water after every meal and rinse strongly to mobilize the food scraps. This restores the acid-base balance and avoid enamel’s erosions in brushing time. Normally, brushing should be done 30 minutes after every meal to prevent this problem.
- Check your general health regularly. Keep your general health under control, because your dental health can be severely affected by your general health and can exacerbate issues.
- Avoid smoking, because it causes: bad breath, build up of plaque and calculus on teeth, teeth discolorations, gum disease, implants and tooth loss, oral cancer.
- Brush your teeth properly and regularly (twice a day). Use dental floss for your natural teeth and Superfloss for implants or bridges before every toothbrush. Interdental brushes can also be used for cleaning between our teeth. Treat flossing as important as brushing. This reduces the cavity risk and periodontal disease. A soft toothbrush is indicated to use, and it must be changed every 3 months, with a new clean one. These two types of flossing are used between your teeth (30-40cm long) going up and down keeping the floss in very good contact with each lateral surface of each tooth, placing it under the gum and pass through the interdental contact. For bridges, when the missing teeth are placed by false teeth ( pontic), the Superfloss must pass between the bridge’s pontic and the gum, because, even if you cannot see any space, the food is stocked there and,in time, periodontal disease at lateral teeth can occur.
Although at first it will seem more difficult, after few uses, you will get dexterity and cleaning time will decrease from 10 minutes to 2 minutes!
Article written by Dr. Simona Bugaciu, dentist at Dental Tech Group
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