Dental issues are not reserved for the elderly. Problems such as tooth decay, yellowing teeth and bad breath can occur as early as childhood if teeth are not adequately cared for. Given how many people fear dentist visits, the statistics are shocking regarding how few people make an effort to care for their teeth. Preventive measures such as daily flossing and brushing with fluoride toothpaste will not only keep your teeth looking healthy, they can help you avoid sizeable dental bills in the future. Below are five reasons why it pays to look after your teeth starting now:
When your teeth look good, you look good. Sadly, you may be hurting your smile without even thinking about it. The most common culprits are coffee and wine consumption. Your favorite beverages may be staining your teeth! If your teeth have yellowed over time, a quick round of teeth whitening at the dentist could restore your smile to its pearly white status over your lunch break.
There are certain times of day and foods that will give everyone terrible breath. “Morning breath” and “Coffee breath” will always occur, but they are easily managed by brushing your teeth. Poor oral hygiene, however, can cause halitosis for different reasons. If you do not take care of your teeth, bacteria can build up in your mouth and cause more severe issues such as decay, gum disease and dry mouth that only intensify the smell. If left unchecked, bad breath can become so severe that it can negatively impact a person’s life.
A build-up of bacteria in the mouth is not only detrimental to your breath, but it can also actually destroy your teeth. When teeth are not brushed and sugary food or drink is consumed, bacteria combines with the sugars and starches in your mouth to form acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. When tooth decay is ignored, holes form in your teeth called cavities. As tooth decay progresses your teeth can become infected, painful and even fall out. Tooth decay can be prevented by regularly flossing and brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and monitoring your consumption of food and drink that are high in sugars and starches.
Gum disease does not only affect your mouth, but it can also strain your immune system, and some research has indicated that it is possibly linked to cardiovascular disease as well. Gum disease is caused by plaque, which is the buildup of the acid your mouth created when bacteria and leftover foods, sugars and starches combined. Plaque buildup can irritate your gums in a mild form of gum disease. If gum inflammation is ignored, little pockets are created in your gums that can become infected, and this infection can destroy both your gums and your teeth. Gum disease can be prevented by daily brushing and flossing.
If you would like to avoid hefty dental bills in the future for such procedures as crowns, root canals, or tooth implants because you have lost teeth to decay or gum disease, invest in the care of your teeth now. Most dental insurance does not fully cover these procedures so there will be a significant out of pocket expense until you reach your deductible.
It is never too late to start caring for your teeth. Simple habits such as flossing and brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste can give you teeth that not only look healthy, they are free from tooth decay and gum disease which can cause bad breath. Your wallet will thank you.