The process in which a tooth structure undergoes destruction is what professionals refer to as tooth decay. The decay can affect the enamel or outer coating or the dentin or the tooth’s inner layer. Tooth decay usually occurs when certain substances are left on the teeth. Some of the substances include foods that contain carbohydrates, such as starches and sugars.
When cake, candy, soda, fruits, bread, cereals, and more are left on teeth, bacteria in the mouth turn them into acid. The acid combines with bacteria, saliva, and food debris to form plaque that clings to teeth. The acids that are present in plaque dissolve the tooth’s enamel surface, creating holes known as cavities. Tooth decay is a huge threat to an individual’s dental health. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to prevent tooth decay.
To prevent tooth decay, make sure that you limit the amount of carbohydrates and sugars that you consume. Reduce the amount and frequency of harmful foods. This will help to reduce the time when the teeth come under a plaque attack. If you cannot brush soon after a meal, make sure that you rinse your mouth using water or a mouthwash. Avoid snacking between meals to give your teeth time to recover.
Embracing good oral hygiene habits will help to prevent plaque buildup. Make sure that you brush your teeth at least two times a day. Use a good fluoride toothpaste and brush all the teeth and the tongue carefully. Use floss to clean between the teeth. Good oral hygiene will help to reduce plaque buildup and thereby keep away the bacteria that cause gingivitis and cavities.
To get cavity protection while on the go, you can use sugar-free chewing gum. The gum is especially handy when you eat out or when you are away from home. Chewing the gum helps to stimulate the flow of saliva. The saliva neutralizes the plaque acids and helps to remineralize the teeth. Most sugar-free gums contain Xylitol, a chemical that helps to stop plaque bacteria.
Fluoride is an important weapon in the fight against tooth decay. There is a good reason why most kinds of toothpaste in the market contain fluoride. Fluoride is also present in mouthwashes and tablet or drop form. Fluoride helps to strengthen teeth, reverses early tooth damage, and also reduces the effects of plaque. Drinking fluoridated water can also help in preventing decay.
Regular visits to the dentist can help to prevent tooth decay. The dentist can identify early signs of damage and recommend measures to reverse them. When dental problems are detected and treated early, it can help to stop the spread of the damage. A dentist can offer advice on the best prevention and dental care for your situation. You can also get a professional cleaning.
If you experience any dental problems, make sure that you visit a dentist immediately. It is never a good idea to postpone dental visits. Remember, the earlier the problem is identified, the easier it will be to treat. Regular oral exams will help to protect your dental and overall health.
To know more about preventing tooth decay, visit Woodyard Dental Care at our offices in Paducah, Kentucky. You can also call (270) 213-6620 to book an appointment today.