Tooth decay is a common dental issue, and it can affect anyone at any age. But it's preventable.
Tooth decay begins when sugary and starchy food remain on the teeth. Bacteria feed off them and turn into acids. These acids cling to the teeth and erode the enamel. When tooth decay is left untreated, it can lead to cavities or dental abscesses.
Here are some tips to help you prevent tooth decay.
Brush at least twice a day daily. Brush at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. Be sure to pay attention to all areas, especially chewing surfaces at the back. Brush before going to bed to prevent plaque from building up overnight. The teeth are more vulnerable to acid attacks during sleep as the mouth produces less saliva. Supervise children's brushing to ensure they’re using the right amount of fluoride toothpaste. If they’re still unable to spit, choose a safe-to-swallow variant.
Floss daily. An oral health care routine isn’t complete without flossing. Brushing alone won’t get rid of the debris left in the mouth after eating. Flossing targets areas that the toothbrush cannot reach. It maintains healthy gums and is one of the simplest ways to prevent gum disease. If you’re finding it hard to use typical floss, ask your dentist for product recommendations. The best type of floss is one that you feel most comfortable using.
Rinse with a therapeutic mouthwash. Skip the cosmetic mouthwash, which only addresses bad breath temporarily but doesn't offer further benefits. Look for therapeutic mouthwashes instead to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth. They’re also great for carrying around with you when you’re on the go and are unable to brush right away. If you’re not sure which brand to try, talk to your dentist. They’ll be able to recommend an option that’s suitable for your oral health concerns.
Drink plenty of water. Plain water remains the best beverage for the mouth. It leaves no residue behind and stimulates salivary flow. Drinking water rinses food debris after eating and minimizes bad breath. Saliva is crucial as it restores minerals lost in teeth. It strengthens teeth as they fight acid and harmful bacteria.
Maintain a balanced diet. Your food choices affect the condition of your teeth. Starchy and sugary food stick to teeth and are harder to remove. Fruits, vegetables, poultry, and dairy contain vitamins and minerals which strengthen teeth, gums, and bones. Fibre-rich fruits and vegetables also serve as natural mouth cleaners.
Avoid constant snacking. Avoid grazing throughout the day. This can cause plaque accumulation on the teeth surfaces and increase your risk for decay and cavities. It’s okay to indulge in sweets or desserts once in a while but do it moderately. Enjoy it right after mealtime while the mouth has an abundant supply of saliva.
Preventing tooth decay with good oral hygiene habits
The key to tooth decay prevention is a solid dental care routine backed by your dental team. Don’t forget to see your dentist for oral examination and dental hygiene cleanings. Routine visits are done every 6 months or at least twice a year.
During dental hygiene cleanings, your hygienist gets rid of any remaining buildup on your teeth. Your dentist also examines your mouth for potential issues. Those with a higher risk of developing cavities may need to visit the dental office more often. For more mouth care tips or to schedule your dental visit in Niagara Falls, Ontario, contact us today at (587) 803-4406. Let's keep your smile cavity-free.