The complete guide to tooth care: key to avoiding dental pain

Nobody likes going to the dentist when there's a problem. So what's the key to avoiding dental pain? Taking care of your teeth! Here's a complete guide to tooth care to help you never get to that point.

The complete guide to tooth care: key to avoiding dental pain

When it comes to ensuring good oral health, the saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never held more true. But frankly, nobody likes going to the dentist.

  • That’s why at the first sign of a problem or dental pain, it’s vital that you don’t delay until it becomes unbearable – especially if you have a serious medical condition like diabetes.

So how can you avoid getting to that point? What can you do to ease the pain as you wait for your dentist?

Dealing with common dental problems

Despite your best efforts, sometimes all you can do is wait for the dentist to appear. Not to worry. There are ways to improve your dental hygiene that could help alleviate the severity of your problems, if not prevent them outright.

Bad breath

To say the least, bad breath is embarrassing for you and unpleasant for the people around you. So what’s the good news? Fighting bad breath is fairly straightforward, but that also means understanding the cause.

  • Several things cause halitosis – the medical term for bad breath – including gum disease, like gingivitis; secondary effects of some medications; and certain foods such as garlic, coffee and alcohol.

To always keep your breath fresh:

Drink plenty of water
Saliva is a natural remedy to battle bad breath and experts believe dehydration is a main cause.

  • Having a dry mouth allows microbes there to feed on food particles, causing odour-releasing byproducts to accumulate.
  • People who don't drink enough water cannot produce enough saliva to wash away these smelly byproducts or the microbes that produce them.
  • To get rid of that dry-mouth feeling, drink enough water each day to ensure your body is producing enough saliva.

Brush your teeth
Although this might seem blatantly obvious, brushing your teeth each morning before leaving home isn’t enough.

  • To prevent bad breath, you should also floss after every meal and rinse your mouth.
  • Another way to ensure you’re cleaning your teeth properly, is to brush your tongue, the roof of your mouth and cheeks. Bacteria like to live there, too.

Use mouthwash
Get into the habit of using mouthwash. Even better, why not make your own mouthwash? More than giving you good breath, it can have anti-bacterial properties.

  • Studies have shown certain serious illnesses can get their start in your mouth — reason enough to keep it clean.

Stop smoking
More than any other lifestyle decision the one to smoke, deliberately give yourself bad breath and worse, risk your health, is entirely preventable.

  • To help you kick your smoking habit, a good place to start is by talking to your doctor. Once you’ve started, your breath (and health) will both feel a lot lighter.

Raid the kitchen
You may already have bad breath solutions in your kitchen cabinets. That includes:

  • Baking soda – dip a damp toothbrush into it before brushing your teeth
  • Parsley – simply chew a tasty sprig
  • Apple-cider vinegar – gargle half-a-teaspoon’s worth in a glass of water for 10 seconds, then rinse your mouth with water

Dry mouth

Saliva is essential for good oral health. If yours is constantly parched, chances are beating dry mouth may involve simply making some easy lifestyle changes:

  • Along with drinking more water, artificial saliva products can make your mouth more comfortable.
  • Avoid beverages that dry out the mouth, such as alcohol, coffee, carbonated drinks and fruit juice.
  • Chew sugar-free gum or suck sugarless candies to promote saliva production.

Gum disease

Did you know gum disease is the most widespread dental problem in adults? Did you also know you can help it with regular visits to your dentist and following a good routine of oral hygiene.

  • Treating gum disease depends on how serious it is as determined by the dentist.
  • Sometimes early-stage gum disease will disappear after teeth are professionally cleaned.
  • More advanced stages may require a prescription mouthwash or even surgery.

Importance of treatment
Caring for your gums is critical, because there’s an undeniable association between gum disease and heart disease. So how can you reduce your risk of gum problems and stack the odds in your favour?

 Examine your gums regularly
Look for the warning signs of gum disease.

  • That includes if you see red, swollen or tender gums; have persistent bad breath; and feel loose teeth.

 Pick the right toothpaste
To further help treat and prevent gum disease, use a toothpaste approved by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA).

  • Along with fluoride, it should contain triclosan, a germ-killing compound that remains in the mouth after brushing.

Consult a dentist immediately
You should seek immediate treatment if any symptoms of gum disease appear.

Cavities

Unfortunately, getting a cavity has become all too common. But it’s never too late to prevent new cavities from developing. The secret? There really is none except the advice your dentist has told you all along:

  • Brush after every meal
  • Floss daily
  • Use mouthwash once a day
  • Have regular dental checkups and cleanings
  • Don’t let cavities go untreated

Adopting good habits

It comes as no surprise that daily care of your teeth is a must.

Untreated cavities, tartar deposits, impacted wisdom teeth (either before or after they’ve been removed!) – there are many reasons you may be experiencing pain in your mouth. Fortunately, there are things you can do each day to help avoid it.

Examine your teeth regularly

  • Small dark spots may indicate the start of a cavity.

Floss daily to remove tartar

  • It will help keep your teeth whiter, longer.

Brush after you eat
Brush your teeth after each snack and not just three times per day.

Use the right technique
Two minutes is ideal for how long it should take you to properly brush your teeth.

  • Contrary to what many believe, brushing harder doesn’t mean doing the same job in half the time.
  • Find a tune that lasts two minutes and hum it while you brush.

Watch what you eat
Proper dental hygiene goes beyond brushing and flossing. Choosing the right foods can also help keep your teeth healthier.

  • Eating an apple is healthier choice than a chocolate bar. It will also help keep your teeth looking their best and cavity-free. Great dietary choices for good dental health include crunchy, fibre-rich foods, such as carrot sticks; green teas, thought to reduce plaque build-up; and anticariogenic* foods.
  • Avoid foods that can harm your teeth, like dried fruit, fruit juice and starchy foods.

*Anticariogenic foods, such as nuts, cheese, popcorn and celery, are believed to inhibit plaque formation and protect against cavities and gum disease.

Remedies for temporary relief

For those times when the dentist simply isn’t available, there are a few solutions that may help ease your dental discomfort, including:

  • Rinse with a warm saltwater solution to reduce gum inflammation.
  • Gently dab some clove oil on the affected tooth and surrounding gums. Use a cotton swab.
  • If all else fails, an over-the-counter analgesic should provide temporary relief until your appointment with the dentist. Just ensure you follow the dosage instructions.

Visit your dentist regularly

There’s nothing like a beautiful smile. But to have healthy teeth that are dazzling right into old age, it’s essential to get professional dental care on a regular basis.

  • Most dentists recommend that you go for a yearly checkup. Even better if you can go every six months.
  • Don’t wait until your teeth are in such bad shape that the dentist has to resort to drilling and filling cavities, doing a root canal, or even worse, yanking unsalvageable teeth!

Caring for your teeth takes only a few minutes a day – but it’s time well invested for years of good dental health and bright, dazzling smiles!

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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