Prevention is better than cure, as anyone who has suffered toothache will tell you. Tooth decay can result in crowns, fillings or inlays, and dental nerves may even become diseased, leading to an abscess, requiring root canal treatment or extraction.

To avoid potential dental problems before they take hold, it’s vital to maintain a daily routine that will keep your teeth and gums healthy, including regular brushing and flossing. It’s also important to be aware of symptoms that may indicate underlying dental issues.

Lancaster Dental your Kitchener dental office has come up with five tips on common problems and what you should do about them.

  1. Sensitivity

Sensitivity of teeth to hot or cold food or drinks is a common problem that’s often ignored. Toothpastes specially designed for sensitive teeth are a good idea, but if discomfort persists it’s advisable to check things out with Lancaster Dental, your Kitchener dentist. Prolonged sensitivity can be a result of any number of underlying dental problems, so a professional diagnosis is imperative.

  1. Cavities

Food debris, bacteria and saliva combine to form plaque, the acids of which soften the enamel of teeth, creating holes. To prevent cavities, brush your teeth after each meal, ideally within 30 minutes of eating. Lancaster Dental, your Kitchener dentist, recommends a six-month check-up and deep cleaning to fight bacteria growth. Taking X-rays can also monitor any potential dental issues.

  1. Dry Mouth

If your mouth feels dry (xerostomia), the saliva-making glands may not be working properly. Common causes of this problem include stress, aging and smoking. See your doctor or dentist to determine the cause. A dry mouth could also be a side effect of prescription medicines; discuss the issue with your doctor.

  1. Bad Breath

Ongoing bad breath (halitosis) or a bad taste in the mouth may be a symptom of gum disease, caused by a build-up of plaque, possibly resulting from poor dental healthcare. Ensure you brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Use a tongue scraper to remove odor-causing bacteria.

  1. Staining

Teeth often discolour over time. You can use hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth by pouring a small amount into a bottle cap, lightly dipping your toothbrush into it and gently brushing your teeth for two minutes, being careful not to touch the gums. Then, to freshen your breath, rinse the toothbrush and brush your teeth using toothpaste.

Keeping Your Teeth and Gums in Good Shape

Establishing a simple routine of oral hygiene will keep your teeth and gums healthy and prevent most dental problems. Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste just before going to bed and at least once more during the day.

Looking after your toothbrush is an essential part of your daily oral hygiene routine. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush and stand it, bristles uppermost, in a glass, cup or toothbrush holder to dry naturally. Storing your brush in a closed container encourages the formation of bacteria. Lancaster Dental recommends replacing your toothbrush every few months.

Use disposable inter-dental brushes and/or floss daily. Avoid sugary foods and have regular check-ups at your dentist.

To organize a check-up, contact our office today. As “Don Quixote” author Cervantes said, every tooth in your head is more valuable than a diamond.