At least 30 million Americans are missing a tooth, or teeth, in their top and bottom jaws. And that’s just one of the reasons there are more than 2.63 million cosmetic dental procedures performed each and every year. In other words, the state of American dental and oral health is not good. You can do something to change it, at least when it comes to your teeth.
Let’s Start With the Basics: Brushing and Mouth Wash
The American Dental Association (ADA) breaks brushing down into one, easy-to-follow step: brush with a fluoride toothpaste. Local dentists reveal that fancy toothpastes — or toothpastes that promise incredible whitening results — are not worth the hype, or the extra dollar or two it might cost to buy them. As long as fluoride is one of the main active ingredients in your toothpaste, it will work just fine.
When it comes to mouth wash and rinses, even the best dentists and researchers disagree. Some studies show it may help fight tooth decay; others suggest it may erode tooth enamel, if patients use it too soon after meals. If you’re going to use it, wait at least 45 minutes to an hour after eating.
Watch Out For These Foods And Beverages
You may think Diet Coke is more or less a godsend — it has zero calories, and no sugar! — but that’s not necessarily true. Even diet sodas can take a toll on our teeth. Fruit juices, energy drinks, Vitamin Water, and even some salad dressings contain high concentrations of sugar.
What To Do When It’s Too Late
First, it’s never too late for your teeth. A healthy, white smile is — in most cases — waiting for you, in the form of affordable dentists and maybe some conservative cosmetic dentistry costs. Full or partial dental implants, for example, are dental devices created out of titanium and metal alloys. They anchor securely into patients’ jawbones and look and feel just like natural teeth. Patients can even purchase implants for dentures, or implants to help fix dentures firmly into place.
Take care of your teeth at home, and carefully monitor your intake of sugary foods and beverages. For a more permanent solution, the best dentists recommend cost-effective and efficient dental implants.