Most people can avoid severe dental problems with regular dental care. Have the dentist's telephone number easily available in case of an emergency.
- Maintain a healthy diet, brush and floss often. Bacteria thrive on refined sugar and starch and need this in order to burrow through the enamel on teeth. One should watch what they eat and be careful about food that sticks to and between the teeth. Regular brushing habits can be key to tooth pain prevention. Brushing after eating or adding foods that can act as a natural toothbrush should be part of one's preventive care routine (end meals with a salad or apple). Brush to remove food particles using a soft toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste as recommended by the American Dental Association. Floss between teeth daily and brush the gums to encourage healthy gums. Water jets are effective at removing trapped particles, but flossing the teeth does a more thorough job when done carefully.
- Prevent tooth decay with fluoride. Fluoride is effective in preventing tooth decay in children. Fluoride is a natural element and is found in many water supplies and vegetables. Check and see if tap water is fluoridated. If the water is not fluoridated, the dentist can prescribe fluoride tablets or fluoride supplements for children younger than 10 years
- One should arrange to have the teeth cleaned by a dentist or dental hygienist
at least twice a year. This has been shown to be effective in preventing both decay and gum disease. Dental X-rays may be needed every year to identify problem areas.
- One should keep their bridge or dentures clean. The dentist can offer suggestions. Even if one does not have all of their original adult teeth, they can prevent new dental problems if they try these preventive tips.
- Wear a protective dental guard or headgear while playing sports to help prevent injury.
- Do not smoke. Tobacco smoking may make some dental conditions worse.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/10/2014
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