There's no shortcut to oral health. Setting aside a few minutes at both ends of our day to brush and floss your teeth is the only way to maintain your smile. "There are dental implants to be sure, but you're not going to get a chance at another set of teeth," says Richard H. Price, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. "This is it."
Over time, our dental education tends to fade from memory (what is fluoride again?) so it's important to remind yourself how critical caring for your mouth is and how painful oral issues can be. Here are 10 ways to keep your teeth healthy so that you can keep them as long as possible.
You may draw stares when you slap in a mouth guard for beach volleyball or a day at the slopes, but if it saves your teeth, it’ll be worth it. After all, dental procedures are expensive and many of the most injuries can be prevented with a cheap piece of rubber. There are several options to choose from: a standardized, run-of-the-mill guard from the store, one you boil in the microwave to fit, or a custom mouthguard from the dentist. Those who grind their teeth in their sleep—usually an indicator of stress—should consider wearing a mouthguard while they doze to keep their teeth sharp and prevent soreness in the gums and jaw.
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