Cavities, Bad Breath and Other Embarrassing Topics

How to Avoid Going to the Dentist Unnecessarily

Most dentists are probably not offended when someone tells them that they hate to see them, as a dental visit can sometimes be uncomfortable and unpleasant. However, you can typically avoid many dental problems if you take care of your mouth and teeth every day and are sure to manage your overall oral health properly. Note a few tips for how to avoid going to the dentist unnecessarily and how to keep your mouth and teeth healthy and strong.

1. Floss properly

You may know to floss every day, but do you floss properly? This would include not pushing the floss into the gum line so that it causes cuts or abrasions, as these can then allow germs and bacteria to settle. In turn, you may be doing more damage with your floss overall. You also want to ensure you floss thoroughly; bend the floss in a C-shape around the front and back of each tooth, rather than just sliding it up and down between teeth. This will get the most food particles out of your mouth for a healthy smile.

2. Avoid drying agents

Saliva is needed to rinse away food particles that may cause cavities and other health problems, so you need to avoid drying agents that cause your mouth to become dry and sticky. While you might enjoy the taste and fresh breath you get when using a mouthwash, note that if it has a high alcohol content, it might actually be doing more harm than good. Alcohol dries the skin and the mouth so that you cannot easily rinse away those stuck food particles. Opt for mouthwashes and other products without alcohol, or rinse your mouth with water after using them so that the alcohol gets rinsed away as well.

3. Protect your teeth

Your teeth are meant to be strong enough to eat hard foods and to withstand some pressure when you hit something with your mouth, but they're not unbreakable. Protect your teeth from becoming weak by avoiding foods and beverages that have a high acid content, such as colas and sugary foods. The acids in these foods will weaken tooth enamel so that the teeth themselves are more prone to cavities and breaking. Get into the habit of chopping up hard foods like carrots and apples so you don't put unnecessary pressure on the teeth when you eat, and always wear bite guards when playing any sport or even when out biking, skating, or doing anything that increases your risk of falling and breaking a tooth.

For more tips on the best preventative care for your teeth, talk to your dentist