Healthy teeth and gums are essential even if your pocket is quite unhealthy. Taking it for granted just because you are broke is not a valid excuse and might even cost you so much in the long run. Unhealthy gums and teeth might lead to various diseases.
Aside from potential deterioration of your dental health, poor gums and teeth care might have serious consequences including especially when it comes to cardiovascular health, dementia, respiratory infections, diabetes, complications with pregnancy, cancer, and others. So, it is important to mind your dental health to avoid more medical expenses in the long run.
In the U.S.A., studies show that dental expenditures averaged at about $685 per patient in 2013, while the average expenditure for the 90th percentile was about $1,624, which could be considered already as a financial burden to patients.
But did you know that even if you are broke or don’t want to spend too much on your dental health, there are still ways on how you attain healthy teeth and gums without paying too much? Here are some ways on how to keep your gums and teeth healthy in less expensive ways.
Practice Proper Dental Hygiene
There is no doubt that the best approach to any kind of problem is prevention. In dental health, prevention is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to attain good oral health. Observing proper hygiene everyday could help your teeth to stay healthy and delay any form of deterioration. Therefore, it will minimize trips to your dentist for some serious concerns. Keeping proper dental hygiene include the following:
- Brushing your teeth regularly
- Flossing everyday to remove food particles in between your teeth
- Eating teeth- and gum-friendly diet
- Drinking proper amount of water
- Avoiding habits that might cause deteriorations of your gums and teeth
- Regular check up with your dentist
- Use toothpaste with fluoride
One of the ways to keep your oral health at its optimum level is by incorporating diets that are good for your teeth and gums. Eating healthy foods will also not just enhance your gum and teeth health but also your whole wellbeing. Among the recommended food of the American Dental Association (ADA) that are good for your gums and teeth include the following:
- Foods that are rich in fibers – According to ADA, foods that are high in fiber such as fruits and vegetables are good for your teeth and gums and could make them clean. They stimulate the production of saliva, which is considered healthy for your dental health.
- Eat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, etc. – These foods are also considered as saliva-maker. Additionally, cheese has calcium and milk has phosphates that could help in replenishing the lost minerals in your teeth and aid in rebuilding your tooth enamel.
- Chewing gums with no sugar – chewing gums are great in stimulating saliva and helps in removing some food particles around your teeth. Just make sure to use sugarless chewing gums as those loaded with sugar could instead do harm than good to your teeth.
- Tea – some tea such as the green and black have polyphenols that could destroy plague bacteria and help your gums and teeth from the harmful acids that are produced by bacteria in your mouth.
- Foods with fluoride – eat foods or drink liquids that have fluoride contents. Among drinks and foods with fluoride include tea, coffee, shellfish, sodas, potatoes, flavored popsicles, broths, and others. Again, just make sure that these foods and drinks are not loaded with sugar. Fluoride has been renowned in helping teeth be stronger and fight cavities.
- Take vitamins – while vitamins can’t get rid of periodontal diseases, it can still help keep our mouth healthy by preventing oral diseases.
Avoid Foods That Are Bad for Your Teeth and Gums
While there are foods and drinks that are healthy for your teeth and gums, another natural way to improve gum health is through avoiding diets that could destroy your dental health. Among the foods and drinks that could damage your oral health are:
- Candies and Sweets – There is no doubt how candies and sweets earned the reputation of being bad for your teeth. Sugar is your teeth’s number one enemy. Particularly, sticky candies such as caramels, lollipops, and others are damaging to one’s oral health as it leaves sugar particles that could cause tooth decay and other damages.
- Starchy Foods – Some of these foods could leave food particles that could be trapped in between your teeth. When these particles are left unremoved, it might cause damage to your teeth.
- Alcoholic beverages – Alcohol and other beverages, especially those that are loaded with sugar content could also damage your gums and teeth.
Smoking, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) affects dental health. If you are a smoker, you have twice the risk for gum disease as compared to non-smoker. Also, smoking weakens your immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight any gum infection once your gums are damaged.
Cigarettes also contain chemicals that affect the flow of saliva in your mouth, making it an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, therefore, exposing your gums and teeth to possible damages brought by bacterial infection.
Smoking could also stain your teeth and could cause plague and tartar buildup. It also reduces blood flow to the gums, which causes and hides gum disease. Gum disease, when not treated early, could result in potentially life-threatening diseases such as cardiovascular problems, hypertension and other complications. It could likewise result in bad breath and loss of taste and smell.
With all of the impacts of smoking not just on your oral health but also on your entire body, you should consider dropping that habit for a healthier you.
Avoid Illegal Substances
Aside from smoking, you might also consider avoiding illegal substances that could damage your teeth. For example, cocaine, when mixed with saliva, forms acids that could dissolve tooth enamels and destroy your teeth. It could likewise cause mouth ulcers. Also, consuming other illegal substances such as heroin, ecstasy, meth and others cause teeth grinding, which could weaken or break your teeth. They could likewise dry your mouth and reduce your teeth’s defenses against bacterial infection and damages.
Illegal substances are also not good for your entire body. It could damage ways beyond your oral health that might destroy your entire well-being.
Have Regular Trips to Your Dentist
Another natural way that could save yourself from shedding more expenses on major dental procedure is by regularly visiting your dentist. Regular visits will help you identify problems associated with your teeth and gums’ health and treat them right before they get serious. Identifying problems right at their onset will spare you from any physical, financial, and psychological trouble in the long run out of serious dental problems.
In a nutshell, prevention is the key to having healthy teeth and gums without spending too much. It would be more costly if you will have your teeth and gums destroyed by unhealthy lifestyle and unhygienic practices. Cliche as it may sound, but prevention is indeed better (and less costly) than cure.