While there are some cases when you just can’t avoid having a dentist remove a tooth, like if a wisdom tooth is impacted and causing problems, in many cases, you can be proactive about caring for your teeth to reduce the likelihood that a dentist will have to remove one or more from your mouth. Dentists pull teeth for several reasons, from a poor fit in the mouth to damage to the tooth. Working with a team of oral care professionals will help you keep your teeth throughout your life.
Keep Them Clean
One of the most important things you can do to prevent having to have a tooth pulled is to keep your teeth clean. When bacteria, sugar, and other foods are allowed to build up your teeth, the chance of decay increases. Not having a good oral hygiene routine can also increase your risk for developing gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss if its advances far enough.
The minimum number of times you should brush your teeth each day is two, although it’s often better to brush after each meal or snack. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride to strengthen your teeth even more and better protect against decay and cavities.
Regularly changing your toothbrush will make your oral care routine more effective. The bristles on toothbrushes wear out with time, meaning they are less able to scrub food bits and debris away from your teeth. Rinse your toothbrush after each brushing session and set it in a place where the bristles can fully dry to keep bacteria from growing on it.
Flossing is also an important part of keeping your teeth clean. Brushes can’t get in between teeth, meaning that if you don’t floss, food bits can get stuck in the spaces between your teeth, increasing the risk for decay and cavities in those areas. Try to floss at least once a day to get rid of any trapped bits of food.
Protect Your Teeth
Your dentist might need to pull a tooth if it is damaged beyond repair. Although teeth are primarily made of calcium and minerals, they aren’t as strong as you’d think they are. Protecting your teeth means only using them to chew foods and not to gnaw on hard, non-edible objects. Even things that are technically edible, such as ice and hard candies, can wear on your teeth and damage them. Avoid biting down on anything hard and don’t use your teeth and mouth to try to open things such as soda or beer bottles.
Another way to protect your teeth is to shield them from danger during physical activity. Just as you might wear a helmet when riding a bike or skiing, it’s usually worth it to wear a mouthguard during such activities, in case you fall and smack your jaw. A mouthguard is also a must during any sports that involve throwing or kicking balls, such as soccer or basketball.
Improve Your Diet
The better your diet, the better your teeth. Some foods are just no good for the health and strength of your teeth, particularly sugar, which plays a starring role when it comes to tooth decay. Others can provide a number of benefits, such as dairy products and foods that contain a lot of calcium, which can help strengthen teeth. Drinking tap water that has added fluoride can also help your teeth, especially if you replace sugary drinks with the water.
Foods that are low in sugar and high in fiber are also great when it comes to boosting the health of your teeth. When you eat carrots or celery, the fibrous nature of the vegetables helps them scrub your teeth clean, removing sticky pieces of food. While a snack of celery won’t replace brushing your teeth after a meal, it can be the next best thing when you can’t brush.
See a Dentist
You can’t provide full care and protection to your teeth on your own. Even brushing and flossing regularly and eating a healthy diet aren’t always enough to keep gum disease, a common cause of tooth loss, away. But, seeing a dentist or periodontist on a regular basis can help considerably. Your dentist can spot cavities and signs of decay before they severely damage the tooth. He or she can also treat gum diseases in the early stages, before it has a chance to cause a significant amount of damage to your teeth.
In Miami, Dr. John Paul Gallardo and Dr. William Lamas provide periodontal treatments and care to their patients, as well as oral surgery and wisdom tooth extractions when needed. They can help you improve the health of your mouth so that you can keep your teeth. To schedule an appointment with the periodontists, call (305) 447-1447 today.