With close to 30 years of experience as a dentist in Tampa, FL, there are conversations I have with patients all the time. Oftentimes, these conversations center around things you should do to achieve optimum oral health, like brushing and flossing daily and drinking plenty of water.
My goal as a dentist is to help patients get to 100 with all their teeth. The following tips will help you achieve that with as little dentistry as possible.
Dentist Recommendations for Oral Health
Don’t drink sugary or acidic drinks.
Drinks that are high in sugar and acid, such as soda, fruit drinks and energy drinks, are one of the top causes of cavities. The sugar in these drinks feed the bacteria in your mouth and create the perfect environment for cavities to form. What’s worse, sugar in liquid form can also touch every surface of your tooth creating cavities in hard-to-reach places.
Don’t use your teeth as a tool.
Enamel is one of the hardest surfaces in your body. However, with regular wear and tear enamel will wear away – and it does not grow back. One of the biggest causes of enamel loss is using your teeth as a tool. This includes biting your nails, chewing ice, opening things with your teeth, and holding items between your teeth.
Flossing is one of the most important daily habits to improve your oral health. It removes food and debris between your teeth and reduces your risk of interproximal cavities and bone loss. Think of flossing like taking out the garbage. If you leave trash for too long, it will begin to smell. Leaving food between your teeth can also lead to infection and tooth decay.
Address GERD, or acid reflux.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or acid reflux, are incredibly common today and can wreak havoc on your teeth. People with GERD will typically have dimples or potholes on the top of their teeth. This is caused by stomach acid eating away at the enamel. If you notice dimples on the top of your teeth, speak with your physician and ask how you can improve your digestive health.
See your dentist every six months.
Most of the population believes that dental problems will always cause pain. Therefore, you only need to go to the dentist when you’re in pain. This is not true. If you wait until you’re in pain, you will require costly and extensive dental treatment. Going to the dentist every six months ensures that you catch problems early and treat them before they snowball into a bigger problem.
How is Your Oral Health?
These are just five things I tell my patients to do to achieve optimum oral health. If you’re looking to improve your dental hygiene, or treat a long-standing dental issue, schedule a dentist appointment for a consultation. We’d be happy to discuss your risks and how you can improve your oral health.