Tooth decay is the most common dental ailment that would result in a visit to the dentist. Tooth decay is treatable, and more importantly, preventable. If left untreated, tooth decay can worsen and result in loss of teeth and possible infections of the gums. Tooth decay occurs mostly due to a lack of proper oral hygiene.
When we eat, food residue gets trapped between teeth. The bacteria that are normally present in the mouth begin to break down this residue, producing acids as a byproduct. These acids are harmful for the enamel of the teeth. In fact, the acids that remain in the mouth can break down the enamel of teeth exposing the nerves inside, forming a cavity. Then the bacteria get inside the tooth cavity, causing an infection that leads to soreness and extreme pain.
The good news is, you can save yourself a world of pain by undertaking the following preventative methods that protect your teeth against cavities:
Brush Your Teeth
The American Dental Association strongly recommends that everyone brush their teeth at least twice a day. Do so in the morning and at night before going to bed. Morning brushing removes plaque, a sticky layer on teeth that hosts oral bacteria. Night brushing removes food residue that leads to cavities. It’s recommended to brush your teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride, a mineral known to promote oral hygiene.
In addition to brushing, dentists also recommend flossing or using an interdental cleaner. Flossing can remove food stuck between teeth that regular brushing may neglect. It should be noted that flossing is not recommended in some cases. If you are not a flosser, ask your dentist if you should start.
Visit a Dentist Regularly
Dentists can spot signs of tooth decay early on and recommend treatment before the condition gets worse. Therefore, it’s highly advised to regularly see a dentist for an oral examination. Do so at least once every three months to best protect your oral health.
Consider Sealants or Supplemental Fluoride
Some people are highly susceptible to tooth decay, more so than the general population. If tooth decay is a constant problem, there are certain dental procedures you could consider. Dentists recommend supplemental fluoride treatments that can strengthen teeth against decay for those affected by chronic cavities. There are also dental sealants that a dentist can apply to the surface of your teeth that come into contact with food. A sealant can be used to cover grooves of your molars that food can get stuck in even if you brush your teeth daily. Consult these options with a reputable dental treatment provider like Vibrant Dentistry to see if these treatments are suitable for you.
Also, consider eating foods that trigger more saliva production in the mouth. Saliva naturally keeps mouth bacteria from penetrating the gums and causing harm to the enamel of teeth. Therefore, the more saliva there is, the better it will be for protecting your teeth against acid decay. Certain foods like carrots, celery and apples, trigger your mouth to produce more saliva. Snack on more of these foods to keep your teeth healthy.