The U.S. is facing a crisis in dental health. Despite being the top 9th country for dental care, more than 90% of its citizens have dental issues like cavities or missing teeth. How can you maintain healthy teeth and smile in such cases of declining dental health? The following article contains essential information for dental hygiene.
How to Take Care of Your Teeth
Prevention is better than treatment, so you should maintain proper oral hygiene. Taking care of your teeth should be an essential part of your routine. Yet, it is something a lot of people aren’t doing correctly. You can prevent dental health decline by consulting with a dental care expert.
Visit your dentist
Despite the importance of professional cleaning by a dentist to remove plaque and tartar, only 35% of Americans visit their dentist annually. However, this lack of care is partly due to unawareness but primarily because of the unaffordability of dental care. Statistically, 80% of U.S. citizens cannot afford dental care, delay treatments, and avoid visiting their dentists to save costs, even if they know the long-term risks.
States like Georgia are an example of this challenge. It is the 9th poorest state in America, with a poverty rate of 14%. It has a lot of low-income families, and 74% of its population cannot afford more dental visits due to the costs. This issue is especially prominent in cities of Georgia, like Savannah, with a higher poverty rate.
Unfortunately, 23.3% of families in Savannah live below the poverty line, and a lot of them do not visit the dentist because they cannot afford it. But on the bright side, dental clinics in Savanah offer numerous financing plans to help residents get the necessary treatments without worrying about the costs. For instance, you can get high quality dental services in Savannah at Habersham Dental, which offers various deals and discounts. They also offer in-house financing options to help you afford treatment. You can sign up for their patient discount plan by paying a one-time fee and get 20% off any treatment you need. You can get the necessary treatments to keep your teeth healthy by visiting these professional dental clinics.
Other strategies of dental care include the following:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice daily, once before sleeping and after waking up. However, brushing them no more than thrice a day would be best. It is a vital process that must be done with toothpaste for 2 minutes daily.
- According to a survey that reported 47% of Americans scraping their tongues, only half of them clean their tongues. Practicing this step is essential for preventing bad breath and removing bacteria, which can reduce your chances of developing cavities.
- Try to limit the intake of coffee or alcohol, as they can damage your tooth enamel because these are acidic drinks. They can also stain your teeth and create an untidy appearance.
Though these strategies can keep your oral health from declining, some issues can persist despite your best efforts. Staying vigilant about your dental and oral health is vital since it may lead to other more serious health concerns. What signs should you watch out for? Read ahead to know.
Signs of Declining Dental Health
Paying attention to your dental health can help you promptly attain proper care. However, you must be aware of the warning signs in case you may need to pursue more extensive care. If these issues persist for an extended period, it would be best to seek medical help.
1. Bad breath
Around 65 millions of Americans have bad breath, and more than 40 million have persistent bad breath. This condition is called chronic Halitosis, which occurs due to Sulphur-producing bacteria in your mouth or throat. It may happen when you don’t properly care for your dental health, but that’s not always true. Conditions such as a dry mouth or heartburn can also cause Halitosis. You can check for bad breath by licking and smelling your wrist, but how do you know it’s a more serious problem? Here’s how you can identify whether you are experiencing a bigger issue:
- There is a white coating on your tongue, especially at the back
- Excess mucus dripping down your throat
- You always have a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth
- There is a constant need to clear your throat
- You have thick saliva
This condition causes a foul-smelling odor to come from your mouth and doesn’t go away, which also causes other people to notice it. Besides the health concerns, this condition can severely damage your self-esteem. If you experience bad breath for an extended time despite good oral hygiene, contacting your dentist to find and treat the underlying causes would be best.
Aching teeth is a common concern that over 40% of Americans share yearly. However, you should be concerned when this pain turns into a sharp burning sensation that makes it too painful to eat. Here’s what you need to look out for to know when you should get urgent medical attention:
- You experience unbearable pain that isn’t going away despite taking painkillers
- Continuous bleeding or swelling in gums
- Headaches or fevers
- Your pain persists for more than two days
- It is difficult to open or close your jaw
There can be multiple reasons for toothaches, like cavities or cracked teeth. Some cases go away on their own, but others require treatments like dental fillings or root canal therapy. Knowing these symptoms lets you know when to contact your dentist and prevents delaying dental care.
3. Receding gums
When your gums pull away from your teeth and expose the roots, you are experiencing a periodontal disease that affects more than 47% of American adults older than 30. This issue can become concerning if you leave it untreated. You should contact your dentist as soon as possible if you notice the following signs:
- Your gum line is painful or uncomfortable
- It hurts to brush or floss your teeth
- You cannot consume extremely hot or cold food or beverages
- There are lines at the bottom of your teeth from where the gums have receded
- You have loose teeth
Your gums can recede as you age or due to aggressive toothbrushing habits. But you can choose a toothbrush with softer bristles to restore your gums and consume more vitamin C. However, you must contact your dentist before the issue becomes concerning in case of extensive damage.
A bright smile indicates a happy body because dental health can also impact physical well-being. Everyone wants perfect teeth, but caring for them is a continuous process. You must consistently maintain good oral hygiene and check for the symptoms in this article to ensure you take good care of your teeth.