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Benjamin Franklin is famous for stating that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This statement is especially true when it comes to your oral health, where a few annual check-ups and routine preventative maintenance can save you a lot of pain and a lot of money down the road. Here are four tips for preventing dental problems.

1. Daily cleaning.

Hopefully you know by now that you should brush your teeth at least twice per day. Brushing before you go to bed is especially important, as it slows the growth of bacteria over night. Although flossing isn't popular with many people, a daily flossing routine is also important for the long-term health of your teeth. Regular professional dental cleaning at the office is also necessary.

2. The role of diet.

We've been taught since we were schoolchildren that sugary foods damage our teeth, but what you might not know is that snack foods such as pretzels and chips can also damage our teeth. Eating nutritious, balanced meals that include plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoiding carb-laden snack foods are important not only for your waistline, but also for your teeth.

3. Prevent discoloration of teeth.

Habits that discolor teeth from a bright white to a dingy yellow include certain beverages, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, and wines; tobacco products, including both cigarettes and chewing tobacco; and a absence of regular dental check-ups. Certain conditions causing discoloration, such as the build-up of tartar, can be stopped early when you visit your dentist regularly.

4. Preventing gingivitis and other gum diseases.

The main ways to prevent gingivitis and other gum diseases are the three tips already mentioned above. In addition, however, if you feel you might be at risk for gum disease, you can add an antimicrobial mouthwash to your prevention routine. Antimicrobial mouthwashes kill many of the germs that lead to gum disease and help reduce plaque. Choose a mouthwash that has been approved by the American Dental Association.

These four tips are the basic prevention techniques that everyone should be following each day in order to prevent serious oral health issues. Visiting our dentist regularly for dental cleaning and restorations is an important component and the best way to keep your mouth healthy.