You only get one set of natural permanent teeth in your lifetime. Once your baby teeth are shed and your permanent teeth come in, that’s all there is. If you want to keep your natural teeth for the rest of your life, some maintenance is required.
Dental maintenance comes in many forms from caring for your teeth at home to professional dental cleanings at your dentist’s office. In some cases you may even need the help of a dental specialist, like an endodontist.
The key to keeping your natural teeth in place is care. You simply need to care enough to take the necessary steps to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.
Benefits of Maintaining and Keeping Your Natural Teeth
There are many benefits of taking care of your natural teeth so that they last:
- Function. Your teeth serve many purposes from chewing your food to speaking clearly. When you have healthy, functioning teeth you can eat the foods you love and get the nutrition you need to live a healthy life. Your teeth also serve a purpose in speech and pronunciation, allowing you to communicate effectively and be understood.
- Appearance. A healthy looking smile can give you confidence, helping you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror and see pictures of yourself. A confident smile helps you make a good first impression when you meet someone new.
- Saves money. Keeping your natural teeth healthy will save you money, because replacing missing teeth are expensive. Bridges, dentures, and especially dental implants are all costly prosthetics you’ll need if your natural teeth are too damaged to restore. Even restorative procedures to repair your existing teeth can be costly.
- Overall health and wellness. Dental and oral health are closely tied to your overall health. Numerous studies have linked tooth decay and gum disease to heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Keeping your teeth healthy helps to keep your whole body healthy.
How To Maintain Your Teeth
These are the fundamentals of keeping your natural teeth healthy and in place:
- Brush your teeth twice a day. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of food residue and bacteria that clings to the teeth. When not removed, plaque can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
- Floss your teeth once a day. Flossing removes food particles and plaque from between your teeth and in the pockets underneath the crown portion of each tooth. Flossing also makes your gum tissue stronger and more resistant to infection. Healthy gums provide support for the teeth, helping them stay in place in your mouth.
- Go to the dentist every 6 months. Even if you brush and floss thoroughly, there are still places in your mouth where plaque can accumulate. When plaque is not removed it can harden into calculus that is more difficult to remove and more likely to cause gum disease. Professional dental cleanings every 6 months serve to remove any plaque or calculus that has formed on the teeth before it can cause decay or infection.
- Have restorative procedures done when recommended by your dentist. Even if you follow the above steps, cavities may still develop and your teeth may occasionally need restorative treatment. If your dentist recommends having a cavity filled, have it taken care of right away. Filling a cavity when it is small prevents it from growing and requiring more extensive repair. If your dentist recommends a root canal, have the procedure done as soon as possible to save the tooth.
The Role of the Endodontist In Maintaining Your Natural Teeth
Endodontics is the field of dentistry that diagnoses and treats conditions affecting the dental pulp, the soft tissue inside of a tooth. Dental pulp contains blood vessels and nerves that are integral in the development of the tooth. When bacteria invades the dental pulp it can result in a tooth infection. Bacteria may get in through a deep cavity or a crack in a tooth, resulting in the need for root canal therapy.
Endodontics includes root canal therapy as well as other procedures that help preserve a tooth once the dental pulp has been compromised. Most procedures involve removing the pulp and replacing it with a rubbery filling material that is resistant to infection. In many cases the right endodontic procedure performed at the right time can save your natural tooth.
Advanced Endodontics Can Help You Preserve Your Natural Smile
At Advanced Endodontics, we make it our goal to save your natural teeth whenever possible. We may recommend one or a combination of endodontic procedures to preserve a tooth that is infected or at risk of infection. Our doctors are highly qualified and experienced in dentistry and endodontics, providing the necessary intervention that can help you maintain your natural smile.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule your appointment.