And how to find dental care if you think you can’t afford it.
Dental health is a critical component of a healthy lifestyle.
Why do I need to take care of my teeth and gums?
Healthy habits, including brushing and flossing, can prevent tooth decay (cavities) and gum disease. Tooth decay and gum disease can lead to pain and tooth loss.
What causes tooth decay and gum disease?
Plaque is the substance that forms on your teeth. It eats away at your teeth, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing and flossing help get plaque off your teeth so your mouth can stay healthy.
Taking care of your teeth and gums is especially important if you:
Most dental problems can be avoided by taking these steps:
- Brush your teeth twice daily – preferably after breakfast and before bed.
- Floss your teeth daily.
- Schedule regular checkups and cleaning by dental professionals.
- Limit sugary foods and drinks.
- Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
Schedule Regular Checkups!
Get regular checkups at the dentist.
Visit a dentist once or twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. Get checkups even if you have no natural teeth and have dentures.
Check out these questions to ask when going to the dentist.
If you have problems with your teeth or mouth, see a dentist right away.
What if I don’t like going to the dentist?
Some people get nervous about going to the dentist. Try these tips to help make your visit to the dentist easier:
- Let your dentist know you are feeling nervous.
- Choose an appointment time when you won’t feel rushed.
- Take headphones and a music player to your next visit.
What if I don’t have insurance?
Even if you don’t have dental insurance, you can get dental care. Residents of Cheshire County should contact the Traveling Adult Dental Clinic (TADS) at (603) 762-3770. Click here for more information about TADS: TADS fact sheet 2013
Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Cut down on sugary foods and drinks.
Choose low-sugar snacks like vegetables, fruits, and low-fat or fat-free cheese. Drink fewer sugary sodas and other drinks that can lead to tooth decay. Get ideas for eating healthy.
People who use tobacco in any form (cigarettes, cigars, pipe, smokeless tobacco) are at higher risk for gum disease and oral (mouth) cancer. Check out these tips to help you quit smoking.
Drink alcohol only in moderation.
Drinking a lot of alcohol can increase your risk for oral cancer. If you choose to drink, have only a moderate amount. This means no more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men.
Take care of your children’s teeth.
If you have kids, help them learn good habits for a healthy mouth. Start cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they come in. Learn how to take care of your child’s teeth.