Although dental problems can be burdensome both emotionally and financially, they are not uncommon in today’s society. In the United States, nearly 1 in 4 adults have untreated tooth decay and almost half of the population has signs of gum disease. Gum disease is the most common reason for tooth loss and is preventable and even reversible in some cases.
However common these dental issues might be, it is important to be aware of the benefits of practicing excellent oral health and preserving your natural teeth.
Benefits of Your Natural Tooth
The first and foremost reason to maintain and preserve your natural teeth is cost. If you invest time into practicing good oral hygiene and regularly visit your dentist, you will save money later on expensive dental repair and restorative procedures. This also means less time in the dental chair which can help to alleviate dentophobia in patients.
Another benefit of saving your natural teeth is that you will preserve the structure of your jaw and facial shape. Often times a dental bridge or dentures may not completely fill the space where your natural tooth was extracted from, which may cause bone loss or collapse. Eventually, your teeth will shift to try and fill this space as well, causing changes in the overall alignment of your teeth.
As your teeth shift they can become more challenging to clean resulting in tooth decay and gingivitis.
How Can You Save Your Tooth?
One of the best ways to ensure you keep your natural teeth is to practice good oral hygiene. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for two minutes twice a day, flossing between teeth each day, using a mouthwash daily, limiting snacks between meals, and visiting your dentist for checkups as recommended.
Benefits of Keeping Your Smile Real
Self-confidence is one of the most important side effects of a natural smile. Studies show that millennials believe their natural teeth are the most important aspect of their appearance to maintain.
In addition to a desirable natural smile, repair or replacement of the teeth is costly and time-consuming. Investing in preventative oral care, such as regular dental visits and good oral hygiene, is the best way to preserve your natural smile and avoid costly dental repairs later on.
Sobering Statistics on Tooth Loss
According to studies, it is estimated that 40 million Americans are missing all their natural teeth, and 178 million are missing at least one. Tooth loss can lead to systemic diseases such as diabetes. It can also affect psychological well-being and performance at the workplace and can cause avoidance of social events. Because of these statistics and findings, tooth loss is now more frequently than ever being treated as a chronic medical condition.
Tips for Preserving Your Natural Teeth
In addition to brushing and flossing and visiting your dentist regularly, preserving your natural teeth includes care of the enamel and aesthetic. For example, red wine is acidic which means it may deteriorate the tooth enamel, making the teeth more porous. This is why red wine is notorious for staining teeth. Other pigmented foods and beverages like coffee, tea, tomato sauces, and even berries also cause tooth discoloration over time.
While the most effective and safest way to whiten teeth is with a professional teeth whitening procedure in our surgery teeth, there are several simple at-home holistic remedies you can try.
Naturally removing surface stains can be done at home and usually takes less than 20 minutes per day. It is important to check with your dentist before trying at-home remedies.
These methods are gentle and viable options for those who experience tooth sensitivity. Some methods include:
- Activated charcoal – activated charcoal is known to purify teeth and eliminate toxins, which can lead to a brighter smile and healthier gums.
- Apple cider vinegar – the main ingredient in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid which is an effective antibacterial. It has been used for centuries as a disinfectant and in some cases may whiten teeth.
- Hydrogen peroxide – gargling with hydrogen peroxide may help remove stains and bacteria from the mouth and gums. It is important to use a 3% strength or less. Higher concentrations may cause irritation and damage to the enamel.
- Baking soda – baking soda has natural whitening properties and may help to remove surface stains. Since baking soda is mildly abrasive, it’s important to check with your dentist before trying this method at home.
We Can Help You Save Your Natural Teeth!
At Owens Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we care about your smile and know that oral health is an important part of overall well-being. If you are concerned about losing a tooth or are in the market for a new family dentist, call us today at (248)-716-8623 to set up a consultation.