How to Keep Your Teeth Strong

The significance of strong and well-maintained teeth cannot be overstated. Our teeth serve essential functions, facilitating the breakdown and digestion of food and allowing the absorption of nutrients into our bodies. Additionally, they contribute to a radiant smile. Beyond cosmetic reasons, healthy teeth are crucial for overall health. What factors can compromise dental integrity, and what can you do to protect your teeth long term?

The Benefits of Healthy Teeth 

Neglecting dental health increases the risk of gum disease, which can escalate into periodontal disease—a chronic inflammation linked to other health issues like cardiovascular disease, oral cancer, and respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia. Being diligent about oral hygiene prevents the buildup of mouth plaque, which, if unchecked, can lead to inflammation and infections that worsen conditions like diabetes by increasing insulin resistance and complicating blood sugar control. Some research studies show that sticking to a good oral hygiene plan can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing brain inflammation associated with gum disease bacteria.

The Dos and Don’ts for Protecting Teeth 

Research has shown that people with 20 or more teeth at age 70 had a higher chance of living longer than those with fewer than 20 teeth. Take a proactive approach by following these Dos and Don’ts for strong teeth:

DON’T assume brushing at home is enough. A trip to the dentist ensures the health of your teeth above and below the gumline, where teeth roots can be vulnerable to infection and gum disease.

DO commit to a daily routine. Follow the 2 x 2 rule: brush twice per day for 2 minutes to remove cavity-causing plaque. Floss in the evening to remove food particles lodged between teeth.

DON’T overindulge in acidic treats. Foods and beverages such as citrus fruits, sodas, and energy drinks, are high in acidity and can erode enamel. Limit intake and rinse your mouth with water afterward to remove residue.

DO eat tooth-friendly foods. Enjoy calcium-rich foods like dark leafy greens, nuts, and dairy (if tolerated) to strengthen enamel. Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots help promote saliva production and clean teeth. Vitamin C-rich foods like strawberries, are essential for gum health, whereas fatty fish like salmon provide vitamin D, beneficial for overall oral health. Lastly, consider drinking green tea for its antibacterial properties.

DON’T go overboard on sugary treats. Sugar-laden snacks and beverages foster cavities and weaken tooth structure by fueling bacterial growth.

DO opt for sugar-free treats. On days when you decide to indulge, limit your intake and brush your teeth or rinse your mouth afterward to keep harmful bacteria at bay.

DON’T ignore signs of a sore jaw. If your jaw is painful when you wake, it could indicate teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. Soreness during the day may be a sign of clenching, which often happens when stressed. Over time, jaw pressure can cause chips and fractures in teeth.

DO get a custom-fitted night guard. A night guard creates a protective barrier between your upper and lower teeth, cushioning them from the forces of grinding or clenching. By absorbing the pressure and distributing it evenly, a night guard helps prevent wear and tear on the enamel, reducing the risk of chips, fractures, and other damage to the teeth.

DON’T get dehydrated. Not a fan of drinking water? Dehydration can lead to decreased saliva production, increased acidity, gum irritation and inflammation, and bad breath.

DO consider other beverages if you don’t like water. Sugar-free sparkling water, green tea, coconut water, vegetable juices, and milk can strengthen enamel by providing a range of antioxidant and antibacterial properties along with essential nutrients for oral health. Be mindful of caffeinated products, as excessive consumption can have a mild diuretic effect, causing dehydration.

DON’T play contact sports without a mouthguard. Contact sports increase the risk of dental trauma, including chipped or fractured teeth, which weaken their integrity. Wear a mouthguard appropriate for sports.

DO schedule an appointment with your dentist for a custom-fit mouthguard. Thicker than a nightguard, a mouthguard provides padding to protect teeth during contact sports.

DO use fluoride. Fluoride helps remineralize enamel and prevent decay. Use toothpaste containing fluoride. Mouthwashes and tap water also contain fluoride.

DO inform your dentist of your medical history. Certain illnesses and treatments, such as acid reflux, eating disorders, or chemotherapy, can have adverse effects on dental health, weakening teeth. Maintain regular visits with your dentist to ensure the health of your teeth.

While the list may seem long, many of these tips for protecting and maintaining strong teeth are steps you take daily. Being mindful about caring for your teeth can ensure they stay rooted and healthy for a long time.

Contact us today at (281) 265-3567 or schedule an online appointment to keep your mouth healthy and your teeth strong for the long run.

Dr. Dragana Angelova
We Love to See You Smile