Most people neglect to evaluate the health of their teeth until their annual dental check-up or unless the pain becomes a factor.
While routine dental check-ups are important and highly recommended, there are habits that you can adopt between visits to ensure that your teeth are healthy. As it turns out, healthy teeth go far beyond flashing a pearly white smile. These tips will help you to easily and quickly monitor the health of your teeth from the comfort of your home.
Pay Attention To Your Gums and Tongue
Healthy gums are a good indication that your teeth and mouth are healthy. Check your gums ever so often to ensure they are pink. Glide a finger along the gums, they should be firm and pain-free. Red, white or swollen gums are immediate red flags. In addition, your tongue should also be pink and firm. Every time you brush your teeth, remember to also brush your tongue and remove any plaque that may appear as a white film on the tongue.
Mindful Brushing and Flossing
One easy way to monitor the health of your teeth is to pay attention while brushing and flossing. If you notice blood at any time, even if only a little, this is not a good sign and should be brought to your dentist’s attention as soon as possible. Also, if you feel the need to floss more often than usual as food particles are always stuck in your teeth, it may be a sign of a cavity developing between the teeth. Most times you won’t be able to see the cavity, especially in the early stages, but this can be checked further during a dental visit.
Monitor The Smell Of Your Breath
While foods with strong scents tend to temporarily alter the smell of your mouth, a healthy mouth ought to have a relatively neutral smell. Chronic bad breath is referred to as halitosis and if often a sign of a greater issue affecting the health of your teeth.
Beware Of Sensitivity
Cold drinks may cause slight sensitivity, however, if you experience prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks this can be a sign of a cavity. This sensitivity can also indicate an uneven bite causing some teeth to wear down faster than others. Be sure to take note of these occurrences and bring it to the attention of your dentist.
Monitor Your Teeth Colour
Monitor your teeth colour over time and take note of any changes. White patches can often be a sign of a cavity, tooth decay or weakened enamel. Also, pay attention if one tooth becomes darker than its surrounding teeth as this can indicate nerve damage even if the tooth does not hurt. Keep in mind that regular dental visits are still necessary as changes in colour may occur in areas that you cannot easily see with the naked eye.
Observation is Key
Given all the tips mentioned above, anything can happen. Therefore, it’s important that you note any unusual changes that will require further attention. These can include but are not limited to the following:
- Experiencing dry mouth which makes it difficult to eat, swallow or talk
- A white or red patch in your mouth
- Swelling in your jaw
- Numbness in your tongue or mouth
- A spot in your mouth, lip, or throat that feels uncomfortable or sore
Developing these habits can take some getting used to but it’s worth going the extra mile to put them into practice. These tips can potentially save you from adverse dental complications that occur if underlying issues are left untreated or undetected.
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