Useful Tips for Maintaining Good Dental Health
Avoid Excessive Use Of Sugar
This seems like a simple piece of advice, but let’s list the things that cause problems:
Carbonated drinks with sugar
Many of these products have extremely high sugar content combine with acid. The sugar is turned into an acid by bacteria. This acid, along with the acid in the beverage actually eats away the hard outer layer of the tooth. This allows bacteria to invade the inner portion of the tooth, eventually causing an abscess.
Hard Candy / Cough Drops
These (like most carbonated drinks) have no nutritional value. The longer one has candy in their mouth, the more damage they are causing. The teeth are continuously being bathed in sugar. Use sugarless candy or cough drops.
Understanding How Drugs and Medication Affect Your Dental Health
Many drugs such as antihistamines (allergy drugs), medication for hypertension (high blood pressure), anti-depressants, and others can cause a condition called xerostomia (dry mouth). Unfotunately many people try to alleviate this problem with candy or cough drops or sipping on a beverage with a high sugar content. The result can be numerous areas of decay in a short period of time. This problem is seen quite frequently in adults who have had excellent dental health for years before they experience problems with dry mouth. Patients with xerostomia (dry mouth) often need a prescription for a special toothpaste or rinse.
Caffeine and nicotine also cause xerostomia. If you drink coffee with sugar in it or sodas with caffeine and sugar, you are exposing your teeth to acid and sugar while reducing the saliva flow which would normally wash away the sugar and acid.
Blood thinners or anticoagulant drugs can cause complications. It is important to tell your dentist if you are on these types of medications. Aspirin and coumadin are common medictions that thin out your blood causing delayed healing in having a tooth extracted or undergoing any type of introral surgery.
Do Not Use Tobacco
Recent studies have shown that tobacco use is a significant risk factor in periodontal disease (gum disease). Studies also indicate that uncontrolled periodontal disease increases the chance of strokes and other cardiovascular disease.
Remember to schedule your child’s routine visits to their dentist. Their dentist will be able to give you and your child tips and tricks for taking good care of their teeth at home.