Tooth decay is a damage of the outer surface of the tooth or tooth enamel. Generally, the tooth decay can result in a hole in the tooth. It is caused by a combination of factors, which includes bacteria in your mouth, a poor diet high in sugar and acid, poor oral hygiene, frequent snacking and sipping sugary drinks, genetic and other factors.
Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent dental problems in the United States. They are common in children, teenagers and older adults. If it is left untreated, tooth decay may lead to infection, pain, and loss of the tooth. You can able to prevent tooth decay by taking some preventative measures like brushing, flossing, eating healthy foods, dental sealants, etc.
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride containing toothpaste can help to reduce cavities and repair tooth enamel.
- Whenever you brush, brush the outer surfaces, upper and lower of each and every tooth and also keep the bristles angled against the gum line
- Make it a habit to brush your teeth after each meal and particularly before going to bed, using a toothbrush with soft, rounded bristles and a small enough head that allows you to reach all parts of your teeth and mouth. Change your toothbrush every 4 to 6 months.
- Brush your tongue to freshen your breath and eliminate bacteria or use a tongue cleaner to clean your tongue.
- Do not rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after brushing as this washes away the protective toothpaste. Just spit out excess toothpaste.
- You need to floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing in between your teeth removes food particles and plaque in between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach.
- Do this before brushing so that any remaining food particles will be brushed away.
- A plastic flossing tool makes flossing easier. You can find these at many drugstores.
Using mouthwash that contains fluoride will also help fight against tooth decay. But, this should not be used immediately after brushing. Make a separate time to use mouthwash, like after lunch. You do not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes after using a fluoride mouthwash.
Eating high-fiber foods
Having high-fiber foods keep saliva flowing in your mouth and produces a mineral that help to prevent tooth decay. Good sources of fiber are dried fruits such as dates, figs and raisins and fresh fruits, like apples, bananas and oranges. Other sources include veggies like beans, peas, Brussels sprouts along with almonds, peanuts, and bran.
Eating cheese can also help prevent tooth cavities as it neutralizes plaque acid and increase pH levels. The increased pH levels on the teeth surface are protected against dental erosion, and thus lower the risk of developing tooth decay and other form of cavities.
Fluoride also plays a key role in preventing cavities. By adding fluoride to your water or including a fluoride rinse in your everyday oral routine, you can protect your teeth from tooth decay and germs. There are various fluoride supplements available in the market, which help to keep your mouth clean and germ-free.
Chewing sugar-free gum help to prevent tooth decay. Typically, sugar free gums are made with Xylitol, a natural substitutes and very effective cavity fighter as Xylitol can inhibit the gums from developing streptococcus mutans, one of the main bacteria involved in tooth decay. If you want to chew a gum, you can try sugar-free chewing gum with special milk protein that carry and release mineral to help repair your teeth.
Crunchy and crispy fruits
Crunch and crispy fresh fruits and vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers and apples help protect teeth by stimulating the gums and increasing the saliva production. Saliva has lots of antibacterial properties which can help to kill the bacteria. Staying hydrated will also help fight against bacteria and tooth decay as well.
To prevent tooth decay, several dental professionals suggest dental sealants, a protective coating is applied to the pits and fissures on the chewing surface of molar teeth. Dental sealants prevent carriers by creating a physical barrier against bacterial plaque and food. Sealants last up to 10 years before they need to be replaced, but they should be checked regularly to ensure they are still intact.
Regular visit to dentist
Visiting your dentist once or twice a year is another way to avoid cavities and tooth decay or spot them early. If you are especially vulnerable to tooth decay, your dentist will suggest some special antibacterial mouthwashes and other treatments that help to cut down the tooth decay caused by bacteria.
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