We all know what we have to do to maintain healthy teeth: eat right, brush twice a day, and floss.
But what if you have a medical condition that makes taking care of your teeth more challenging than normal? There are a variety of conditions out there that can put your teeth at extra risk, in which case you need to be especially careful to manage to your dental hygiene.
People with diabetes are at an increased risk for cavities and gum disease. If you know you have diabetes, not only do you need to be sure to keep your blood sugar under control, but you also need to be particularly vigilant about your dental hygiene routine. Be especially mindful of your gums and be sure to check them regularly for any spots or sores. Also make sure your dentist knows you have diabetes so they can advise you and check for any issues that may be related to the disease.
Being pregnant can be a wonderful thing, but it can also throw your whole body (including your mouth) into chaos as hormones start raging and the availability of micronutrients might fluctuate. When pregnant, you should be sure to take your prenatal vitamins, maintain a vigilant oral hygiene routine, and keep seeing your dentist and let them know you’re pregnant so they can advise you and keep an eye out for any potential problems.
Osteoporosis tends to affect many of us (especially women) as we age, and since teeth are made of bone, they are also susceptible. In addition to maintaining a vigilant hygiene routine, you should be sure to take supplements of both calcium and vitamin K (which helps carry calcium out of the bloodstream and to the bones).
Wearing braces can make it especially difficult to keep your teeth clean. Not only are they semi-permanently stuck to your teeth, but they also present barriers to cleaning in and around your teeth. When you have braces, you need to be especially careful about brushing your teeth (and the braces) to get rid of all food and plaque, and definitely make sure to floss regularly.
You have dental implants
Like any surgery, infection in and around the implant site is always a risk, so be careful to keep that area clean. You’re also going to want to avoid bad habits, such as chewing gum or biting on anything hard, like ice cubes, popcorn, or hard candy.
You’re on medication
Any time you take medication for anything, be sure to check the warning label for side effects. Dry mouth and changing tooth color are both common side effects, so be on the lookout for those, and if you see one on a medication you’re taking, be prepared to combat it. For those that cause dry mouth, sip water or other sugar-free drinks throughout the day to help rinse out plaque and bad bacteria. If your medication tends to cause your teeth to change color, be extra vigilant about brushing, flossing, and making regular appointments to your dentist’s office. In some cases, you may want to consider professional whitening, in which case, your dentist will likely be able to assist you.
If you want to keep your teeth healthy and strong, you must take care of them. At Simply Smiles Dentistry, we can show you how to properly care for your teeth. You will have a great smile that lasts a lifetime.
Until next time…Keep on Smiling!