How To Prevent Tooth Decay In Adults
Tooth decay is an extremely common problem and one that can cause various degrees of pain and suffering. Left untreated, severe decay can also lead to numerous other problems that include tooth loss, periodontal disease. There are a variety of different treatments available including cavity fillings, dental crowns and dental implants. However, we are firmly committed to helping our patients retain their natural teeth for as long as possible, and one of the best ways to do this is to do assist you in doing everything in your power to avoid tooth decay.
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay is the destruction of the hardest, outer layer of your teeth known as the enamel. It occurs when plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. Whenever you consume anything containing sugar, the bacteria in the plaque react, producing acid. It is this acid that attacks the enamel of your teeth and causes the enamel to erode, exposing the softer, inner layer called dentin. These holes of decay are referred to as cavities and are the most common dental issue seen by dentists across the country.
How to prevent tooth decay
The good news is that there are steps that you can take to prevent tooth decay from occurring.
Brushing your teeth
It may be the most obvious thing on this list, but in order to keep your teeth as clean and health as possible as possible you need to do a really good job of brushing them. Opt for a small, round-headed brush as this will make it easier to get into those really hard-to-reach areas. Better still, if you can, get an electric toothbrush as this will do a lot of the hard work for you!
Brush at least twice each day, preferably after you eat and before you go to bed as this will prevent acid from sitting on your teeth all night.
Use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash
It is amazing how many people don’t realize the important of fluoride in their dental hygiene routine. Fluoride chelps strengthen your teeth and fights decay.
Floss or use interdental cleaning devices
Food debris and bacteria can easily become trapped in the tiny gaps that form between our teeth, and these are common sites for decay to develop. Fortunately, you can use floss or interdental brushes or other devices to help remove decay-causing plaque from between your teeth and reduce your likelihood of developing decay here.
Limit sugary snacks
Sugar is the primary cause of all developing dental plaque and by cutting back on sugary snacks, you can help reduce the likelihood of decay occurring. Remember that not all sugars are obvious either – there are natural sugars found in fruits and fruit juices, and carbohydrates such as chips and pretzels also contain large amount of the sweet stuff. The other problem with snacking is that you tend not to brush your teeth directly afterwards, so the sugars will sit on your teeth probably until you brush before bed, where they will have plenty of time to cause some damage.
Visit our dentist regularly
Our dentist is the only professional that can support your crusade against dental decay. With regular check-ups our dentist can spot the start of decay early and get it treated before it can spread and cause further damage to your teeth. Our dentist can also perform a professional clean, known as a scale and polish, which will further help remove any stubborn areas of tartar or calculus on your teeth and prevent additional damage to your teeth. Most dentists recommend that you schedule visits at least once every 6 months.
If you would like further advice on how to avoid tooth decay, our dedicated and experienced dental team would be pleased to assist you. Please contact our clinic today to schedule your consultation.