Many Americans struggle with oral health issues that stop them from feeling their most confident. From more advanced complications to something as commonplace as bad breath, oral health problems happen to everyone. Luckily, the majority of these issues can be reversed or prevented by something as simple as maintaining a thorough oral care routine.
What are these common problems and how can you avoid them? Read on to find out!
- Bad Breath: Bad breath, also called halitosis, doesn’t always indicate a health concern. Some foods and drinks, like garlic or coffee, or dehydration can cause bad breath. To combat halitosis, make sure to brush your teeth (and your tongue!) twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist twice a year for a deep cleaning. If you’re taking great care of your teeth but still suffer from bad breath, visit your dentist to rule out other complications.
- Gum Disease: Gum disease, or periodontitis, is another common condition. In fact, it’s so common that half of American adults have it. One of the best ways to prevent gum disease is to brush and floss as instructed. Visiting your dentist twice a year will allow them to inspect your gums and reverse any early signs of gum disease. Gum disease is nothing to sleep on, though—advanced periodontitis can cause you to lose your teeth!
- Crooked Teeth: Many people think that having straight teeth is just for appearances, but crooked teeth or misaligned bites can actually affect how you eat and speak. The easiest solution for fixing crooked teeth is either traditional wire braces or Invisalign.
- Tooth Decay: Tooth decay, also called cavities, is another condition that can mostly be prevented by keeping a dedicated oral care routine. Brush twice a day, floss daily, and avoid sugary or high-carb foods. If you do happen to eat sugary or high-carb foods (like we all sometimes do), wait 30 minutes to allow the pH in your mouth to settle down, then brush your teeth. Cavities can easily be fixed, so if you suspect that you have one, visit your dentist before it gets worse.
- Oral Cancer: According to the American Cancer Society, 51,540 people will get oral cancer by the end of 2018, and an estimated 10,030 people will die from it. We’re sure you already know this, but the best ways to prevent oral cancer is to avoid smoking, using chewing tobacco, and drinking alcohol. The Gardasil vaccine may also help prevent oral cancer, but it’s only available for females at this time. A gender-neutral version, however, is in the works!
Long story short: brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to help prevent the majority of common oral health concerns.