Helping your teeth function at their best.
Our teeth and gums are so perfectly adapted to helping us to eat, speak, and express emotions that we often don’t give these tasks a second thought. They’re easy and automatic—and that’s the way it should be!
If you’ve had a toothache before, however, you know just how difficult and painful toothaches can make tasks that once seemed simple. Tooth pain can be caused by multiple different oral health issues, such as severe cavities, gum disease, enamel erosion, or dental injuries. Thankfully, there are several simple, easy ways you can protect your oral health and help prevent future toothaches. Here are 5 tips you can use to protect yourself from toothaches.
1. Commit to great oral hygiene.
The most important part of preventing a toothache is taking care of your oral health—and that means committing to a great oral hygiene routine. You should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, floss and use mouthwash at least once a day, and visit your dentist at least every six months (or as prescribed) for regular professional cleanings. All of these steps are essential for your oral health, as each one protects your teeth in ways the others can’t. For example, while brushing your teeth cleans the front, back, and chewing surfaces of your teeth, the bristles of a toothbrush can’t reach between your teeth or slide along your gum line to remove the plaque there. Only flossing can do that, which is why it’s the best way to prevent gum disease.
Similarly, mouthwash cleans nooks and crannies that you may have missed while brushing and flossing your teeth. Regular appointments with your family dentist in Wasilla allow your dentist to remove hardened tartar from your teeth and examine the health of your teeth and gums. These thorough cleanings help prevent toothaches, while the examination allows your dentist to spot issues early. This means you can often receive treatment for oral health concerns before they get major enough to cause you pain—which also tends to be kinder to your wallet.
2. Choose the right oral hygiene products.
When it comes to your at-home care routine, the products you use to clean your teeth actually have an impact on your oral health. Fluoride is a mineral that’s known to strengthen your teeth, helping to prevent cavities. It even remineralizes some damage to your enamel. As a result, using fluoridated toothpaste can prevent tooth pain by protecting your teeth from decay. Additionally, just like different types of shampoo and conditioner address different needs for your hair, you can choose a fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash that are designed to address specific oral health concerns. Some toothpastes help prevent tooth sensitivity, while mouthwash can help prevent cavities or gingivitis.
It’s also important to choose a soft-bristled toothbrush, as using a toothbrush that’s too abrasive can erode your enamel and cause tooth sensitivity. Putting a little thought into which type of toothpaste and mouthwash you get can give your daily at-home care routine a little extra punch, making a solid difference in your oral health. If you’re not sure which to choose, Dr. Rob or Dr. Lyerly can give you advice about which type will be best for you based on your current and past oral health.
3. Avoid using your teeth as tools.
Your teeth are strong and capable of helping you eat a variety of foods, but they’re also brittle. They’re simply not designed to be used as tools to tear plastic packaging, crack nuts, or open bottles. If you use your teeth this way, you run the risk of chipping, cracking, or even breaking your teeth. Injuries like this can be very painful and can easily earn you a trip to the emergency dentist. In some cases, your tooth can crack in such a way that you experience a toothache but can’t see the damage. Even if you avoid more immediate injuries to your teeth, making a habit of using your teeth as tools can cause your teeth to wear down over time. This can impact the appearance of your teeth, cause tooth sensitivity, and make them more vulnerable to decay.
4. Adjust your diet.
Your diet impacts your oral health just as much as it impacts your overall health. Your teeth and gums need certain vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, so it’s important to eat a balanced diet that contains plenty of lean protein, whole grains, dairy, and fruits and vegetables. Additionally, sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods fuel the bacteria in your mouth, so eating too much of them too often can increase your likelihood of suffering from tooth decay or gum disease—both of which can lead to a toothache if they go untreated. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat these foods, but adjusting your diet to limit them can make a surprising difference in your oral health. This difference is increased if you replace them with crunchy fruits and vegetables, which help prevent decay by scraping plaque from your teeth as you chew.
5. Get the dental care for your toothache that your dentist recommends to you.
Treatments like fillings and dental crowns restore the function and health of damaged teeth. Dental crowns can even save a tooth that has suffered severe decay or injury, remedying existing tooth pain while helping to protect your tooth from future decay.
Moving forward with treatment will prevent severe toothache and further decay, which require more advanced dentistry like a root canal therapy or even a tooth extraction to resolve.
If you’re worried about affording your treatment, always look into the options your dentist offers to help you afford the care you need. Financing options like CareCredit can make all the difference in allowing you to get the care you need when you need it. If you have any further questions, feel free to call our office at any time. We are here to help!