Good oral health is essential to a healthy life, yet tooth decay remains one of the leading chronic conditions today. Not to mention, cavities can be painful and expensive to fix, too. Here are some simple ways to prevent tooth decay and be proactive with your oral health.
Practice good dental habits
Good daily dental habits are the foundation of a healthy smile. To prevent cavities, brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Floss daily to clean areas between teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach.
Drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods
Everything you eat or drink can impact the health of your gums and teeth. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats, such as chicken and fish. Also, be sure to drink several glasses of tap water a day. In Milwaukee, the city fluoridates the water. Fluoride helps strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. Learn about the benefits of water fluoridation at TapIntoHealthyTeeth.org.
Invest in dental insurance
Though there is an upfront cost, investing in dental insurance pays off in the long run. Dental professionals can spot symptoms of oral health problems or other serious diseases during a simple checkup. According to the American Dental Hygienists Association, for every dollar you spend on preventive oral healthcare like cleanings, you save $50 on future emergency treatments like root canals or tooth extractions.
Sign your children up for school-based oral health programs
The Milwaukee public school system hosts programs where children can get free oral health checkups. Make sure to sign your child up if you see a permission slip for Seal-A-Smile, a program where elementary school children receive free oral health screenings, fluoride varnish, and sealants when necessary.
Take advantage of free community dental resources
If dental insurance is out of reach for you or your family, keep your oral health on track with free dental services in the Milwaukee area. The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Dental Clinic provides urgent care, restorative care, dental hygiene and dental appliances to those who meet their income qualifications and follow the referral guidelines.