If your smile has you embarrassed to share it with the world, you’re not alone. Many Americans suffer from dental and oral issues that stop them from feeling their most confident. Luckily, many of these problems aren’t an expensive fix: a thorough and dedicated dental care routine is often enough to redress many issues that people commonly face.
What are these common dental problems, and how can we treat them? Read on to find out!
- Bad Breath: Everyone experiences bad breath from time to time. Bad breath, sometimes called halitosis, can be caused by a number of things, including poor oral hygiene, certain foods and drinks (like coffee and garlic), and gum disease. The best way to fight bad breath is to brush twice a day, floss daily, stay hydrated, and visit your dentist every six months for a deep cleaning. And don’t forget to brush your tongue—it can collect a lot of bacteria! Maintaining a strict oral care routine but still experiencing your bad breath? Check with your dentist to narrow down other possible causes.
- Tooth Decay: Another issue that is closely linked to poor oral hygiene is tooth decay, also called cavities. The best way to stop cavities before they start is to brush twice a day, floss daily, and avoid sugary and high-carb foods. If you do eat something sugary or high-carb, wait 30 minutes to allow the pH in your mouth to settle down, then brush your teeth. If you find yourself with a cavity, contact your dentist so they can tackle it as soon as possible.
- Gum Disease: Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, isn’t at all uncommon. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, half of Americans have gum disease! Luckily, preventing gum disease can be as easy as brushing and flossing your teeth as instructed by your dentist. However, gum disease can be no joke. Advanced gum disease can result in lost teeth, because gum disease weakens the seal between your teeth and gums. Nip gum disease in the bud by making sure to visit the dentist twice a year so he or she can inspect your gums. If your dentist suspects you have periodontitis, it is fortunately very easy to reverse in its early stages.
- Crooked Teeth: Many people think that having straight teeth is purely for cosmetic purposes, but that’s not always the case. For some people, crooked teeth or misaligned jaws can affect how they eat and speak. Luckily, crooked teeth and misaligned bites can be fixed using traditional wire braces or Invisalign.
- Oral Cancer: According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 51,540 people will get oral cancer by the end of 2018. The best ways to prevent oral cancer are things that you already know: avoid smoking, using chewing tobacco, and drinking alcohol. For females, there is also the Gardasil vaccination that may help prevent oral cancer. Fortunately for males, there is also a gender-neutral vaccine in the works!
Let’s recap: what are the best ways to treat common dental problems? Brush and floss. Nice and easy, and it takes less than five minutes.