If you’ve experienced toothaches, you know just how painful they can be. The pain often comes on suddenly and becomes severe in just a short amount of time. You may also develop other common toothache symptoms, such as swelling around the tooth, fever, headache, and foul-tasting drainage from the affected tooth.
While it is not always possible to know when you’ll develop tooth pain, there are ways you can significantly lower your chances of developing a toothache. In honor of National Toothache Day which falls on February 9th, here are some effective ways to care for your smile and prevent toothaches.
Tips to Prevent Toothaches
1. Practice Proper Brushing
While most people know the importance of brushing every day, few do it correctly. It is important to brush at least two times per day to remove food particles and plaque that adheres to teeth surfaces. Remember to brush the outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
2. Floss Regularly
A toothbrush cannot always remove food stuck between the teeth. Flossing helps you achieve a better clean and can reduce your risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease.
3. Eat a Healthy Diet
What you eat can play a key role in the condition of your teeth. Foods that contain sugar can contribute to tooth decay. Control the amount of sugar you consume by choosing foods and beverages that are low in sugar. It’s also important to eat a variety of foods from all the major food groups, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and lean sources of protein.
4. Drink Lots of Water
In addition to eating a nutritious diet, you’ll also want to drink plenty of water. Drinking water helps rinse away food particles in the mouth and neutralize acids that can attack teeth if allowed to sit in the mouth. Water is also a great alternative to sugary beverages like soda and juice.
5. Protect Teeth During Sports
Decay is not the only cause of toothaches. You can also develop a toothache if you suffer a dental injury. When participating in sports or other vigorous activities, use a mouthguard and helmet to prevent injury to your mouth.
6. Act Quickly
Some people make the mistake of waiting too long to see a dentist after they begin experiencing signs of a tooth problem. Toothaches often get worse over time, and in some cases, will become unbearable if you allow the toothache to go untreated. Ideally, you should see your dentist upon the first signs of a tooth-related problem.
7. Have Routine Checkups
Keeping your teeth healthy and free of decay can drastically reduce your risk of developing a toothache. See your dentist every six months for a professional exam and cleaning.