Why is tooth care important?
Every day your teeth are under attack and your mouth is at risk of developing different oral diseases. The most prevalent oral diseases that can be prevented through good tooth care are cavities and periodontitis (loosening teeth). Cavities develop as a result of two factors: Plaque and sugar. Plaque is the yellowish-white layer that starts to form on the surface of your teeth already a short time after you’ve brushed them. Plaque consists of many different kinds of bacteria that reproduce and grow in numbers very quickly. This means that the longer time the plaque is left on the teeth, the thicker the layer gets. When sugar is added to the plaque, it results in acid which breaks down the tooth substance and eventually make a cavity in the tooth.
Periodontitis is another common result of inadequate tooth care, since it is also caused by plaque. When plaque has been left on the tooth surface for more than two days, the bacteria start to irritate the gums. The gums will become red and inflamed and maybe even bleed, when you brush them. If the process continues, the bacteria and the inflammation will spread and start to break down the bone that supports the teeth. Eventually the teeth will loosen and fall out.
These two common but serious oral diseases can be prevented through proper tooth care. How?
What does good tooth care involve?
Since the main cause of both cavities and periodontitis is the presence of plaque, good tooth care involves daily removal of plaque from your teeth. Dentists and dental hygienists normally recommend brushing at least twice every day with a medium soft toothbrush. You can read more about choosing the right toothbrush here. A guide on how to brush your teeth can be found here. For some people good tooth care involves more than brushing. Flossing, tongue scraping or the use of interdental brushes might be necessary in order to clean between your teeth and prevent bad breath. Read more about bad breath here
Regular visits to the dentist or dental hygienist are also an important part of good tooth care. Depending on your individual needs, your dentist will advise you on how often to come in for check-ups and maybe dental cleanings. Don’t be quick to think that your dentist is just trying to make an extra buck, if he or she asks you to come in more often than you expected. Some people need to come to the dentist once every three months for a check-up and a cleaning in order to avoid oral diseases. Others only need to come once every year. It might have a little to do with genetic factors and how strong your teeth and gums are, but it mostly depends on how well you care for you teeth. Tooth care is primarily your own responsibility and without your co-operation your dentist will not be able to help you avoid oral diseases – even if you visit the clinic every three months.
Obstacles to good tooth care
The main obstacles to good tooth care are probably forgetfulness and lack of proper routines. In a busy schedule it is not always easy to remember to fit in time for dental hygiene. You can read some advice on how to build good routines for oral health and tooth care here
For many people economy also plays a role, when it comes to deciding when to visit the dentist. While dental care can be expensive, however, the tooth care that you perform at home does not have to cost much. By taking good care of your teeth, you can save a lot of money and trouble in the long run.