Tooth decay is a common but preventable problem. It can happen to people of all ages, though young children are particularly prone to it. Decay occurs when excessive bacteria in your mouth create toxic acids that eat away the enamel of your teeth. This creates a hole that bacteria can settle into and cause more problems. If tooth decay goes untreated, it can cause a number of health problem, including but not limited to dental pain and serious gum disease. Thankfully, tooth decay is preventable and here are some tips on how to do it:
1. Recognize the Causes
You can only treat tooth decay if you recognize the cause of it. Your habits and lifestyle can have an influence on the health of your teeth so it’s important to know how your habits can affect your teeth so you can change your lifestyle accordingly. The common causes for tooth decay are:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Improper nutrition
- Sweet and sugary food items
- Acidic food and drinks
- Grinding teeth
- Dry mouth issues
Most of these causes can be addressed. You can’t change your genetics or stop the progression of age, however, you can take some precautions to delay any damage.
2. Proper Oral Hygiene will Help Cure Tooth Decay
The primary cause of tooth decay is the lingering bacteria and food particles in your mouth. You can eliminate bad bacteria and food particles if you brush your teeth with fluoride (in tap water) toothpaste twice a day, floss once a day, and get your teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist at least twice a year. Fluoride in your teeth will help strengthen the teeth enamel and make them more resilient.
You can also rinse your mouth with specially formulated mouthwashes to remove any lingering food particles and bacteria in places your toothbrush couldn’t reach. If you follow this routine everyday, you’ll be less likely to develop cavities.
3. Limit Sugar and Starch
Sugary foods are one of the primary reasons behind tooth decay and cavities in children and adults. If you binge on candies, soda, and other such excessively sweet items, you’re more likely to develop cavities. Sugar reacts with the bacteria and provides the tools to create that toxic acid we mentioned before. Starch will stick to your teeth and encourage plaque as well; so it’s a good idea to limit these items. If you want to consume sugar or drink sugary items, try to use a straw. This will limit the contact between the sugar and the dental enamel and prevent damage.
4. No Snack Before Bedtime
Eating directly before you go to sleep can be harmful for your health as well as your teeth. You need to make sure that saliva has the opportunity to break down the food in your mouth so it’s a good idea to leave a gap of a couple of hours between food consumption and sleep.
If you allow the food particles to linger in your mouth, you’ll eventually face cavities and tooth decay. Monitoring your food habits is one of the first steps towards good dental health.
5. Visit the Dentist
You should visit the dentist twice a year to maintain dental health. The dentist will examine your teeth and gums, do a thorough cleaning to remove excessive plaque, spot small and early signs of tooth decay, and make sure your teeth and gums are in good condition.
If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to keep your teeth free of cavities and decay. This problem is preventable and adapting your lifestyle to prevent decay isn’t difficult.