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How To Keep Your Teeth For Life

12 Nov, 2015

How To Keep Your Teeth For Life

There's an age old saying that says no matter what difficulty you're currently experiencing, it will typically solve itself (or a solution will be presented to you) within three days. I'm a firm believer in the three day theory. In my life, problems have a tendency to sort themselves out in a relatively short period of time. However, there is one problem that will not sort itself out no matter how long of a time frame you give it. In fact, the longer you ignore it, the more complicated the problem becomes. Can you guess what problem I'm referring to? Tooth decay!
If you want to get a sampling of bacteria, you need look no further than your own mouth. A human's mouth is a cesspool of bacteria! It's been said that a bite from a human being is one of the more deadly bites - the excessive amount of bacteria can wreak havoc on a person's body if the bite breaks skin. Some believe the presence of bacteria in our mouth is necessary to destroy dangerous bacteria that would otherwise enter our body. Regardless of why bacteria thrive in our mouths, we need to keep the bad bacteria in check otherwise it will accelerate tooth decay.
The bacteria in our mouths thrive on sugar and carbohydrates. The more you eat sugar and carbohydrates in general, the more the bacteria in your mouth will likewise eat. After the bacteria are done chewing on the sugar and carbohydrates, the leftover material is called plaque. Plaque eats away at tooth enamel. The longer you allow plaque to eat away at your tooth enamel without interruption, the sooner you'll end up with tooth decay.
The average person has some form of tooth decay and doesn't even realize it. There are a number of symptoms that could indicate tooth decay. The first is a sensitivity to hot and cold fluids. The second is sensitivity to sugary foods - do your teeth hurt when you bite down on sugar? The third indicator is a dull ache or pain (and the pain doesn't have to be associated with biting down). While those are general indicators for tooth decay, a person with tooth decay may not have any of those indicators. The only way to find out for sure if you have any degree of tooth decay is to visit your dentist for a checkup. He can physically examine the surface areas of your teeth and look for weak spots, or he can take x-rays of your teeth. Most dentists will perform both x-rays and an exam during your initial appointment with them.
During your initial exam, your dentist will scrape and poke the surface area of your teeth with a small metal device. In the event you don't fully understand what he's trying to do, the scraper is a tool designed to help him find weak spots on your enamel (tooth decay). As mentioned above, your dentist will most likely want to take x-rays as well.
Tooth decay can only be removed by drilling-out a portion of your tooth (the part that has decay). Once the decay has been completely removed, your dentist will refill the area with a tooth-colored resin. However, if your tooth decay is significant, he may want to perform a root canal which is a procedure that is specifically designed to save your tooth root. Root canal procedures are now routinely performed without much pain or discomfort to patients, so don't be afraid if your dentist suggests that you need one.
Plaque is your primary enemy when it comes to caring for your teeth. You will need to rid your teeth of plaque as soon as possible if you want to maintain healthy teeth and gum. You should already be in the habit of brushing and flossing your teeth - both are necessary if you want to prevent plaque from damaging your tooth enamel.
Most toothpaste contains fluoride - an essential ingredient that strengthens tooth enamel. Spin brushes, water picks, and toothpaste containing Triclosan are additional recommendations for the person interested in maintaining optimal dental health.
Your teeth and gum play a vital role in your overall health. If you take care of them, they'll take care of you!

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