Your teeth are under constant attack from acid and bacteria. This sometimes results in tooth decay.
To reverse it, you must fight back against these harmful elements. Keep reading to see how to get your old smile back.
The road to tooth decay
Your mouth has harmful bacteria that feed on the sugars and starch from leftover food. When they feed, the bacteria produce acids that corrode the enamel.
Saliva is rich in minerals like calcium and fluoride. The saliva removes bacteria and acids from all parts of the mouth. At the same time, the minerals in saliva re-mineralize the enamel corroded by acids.
How tooth decay occurs
Left unchecked, bacteria will thrive in the mouth. They will multiply, accumulate and attack the enamel.
Eventually, the enamel becomes so weak that white spots will form. With time, the white spots become cavities. If nothing is done, the cavities grow to become all-out tooth decay, which destroys the soft tissues in a person’s teeth.
At this point, only a dental restoration can be used to repair a damaged tooth and stop the decay.
Also, a person who has a mineral or vitamin deficiency will not have enough minerals in their saliva to remineralize the teeth and fight off bacteria.
How to reverse tooth decay
In its early stages, you can reverse tooth decay. All it takes is making changes to your oral hygiene habits. These changes will stop the progress of tooth decay and reverse any damage.
Make the following changes to reverse the early stages of tooth decay.
1. Eliminate sugar
Limit the intake of sweet foods and refined carbohydrates. They provide the fuel that bacteria need to produce acids that attack the enamel. As much as possible, stay away from carbonated drinks. They contain acid that attacks the enamel and sugar that feeds bacteria.
In general, foods and drinks that are acidic provide a good environment for bacteria. They should be taken sparingly.
2. Choose healthy foods
Consume foods and drinks that nourish the teeth and the body. Eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals.
Here are some healthy foods options.
- Cheese is rich in calcium and vitamin D, which helps to rebuild the teeth. It also counteracts the acid in the mouth
- Leafy greens like spinach contain fluoride and folic acid, a vitamin that fights and kills bacteria in the mouth
- Tea and tap water contain fluoride that mix with saliva and helps to remineralize the enamel
3. Make oral hygiene a priority
Brush twice a day and floss at least once. This will keep bacteria and acids from accumulating. After a meal, brush or rinse the mouth with water or alcohol-free mouthwash.
Keep your mouth clean and hydrated by drinking water, chewing sugar-free gum or by snacking on crunchy foods like apples, carrots, cucumbers, celery or lettuce.
Indulge a sweet tooth with fruits and berries instead of candy. These measures will also help to reverse tooth decay.
4. Apply fluoride gel and dental sealant
Molars are more vulnerable to decay than the front teeth. Have the dentist apply sealant to the grooves and pits on the chewing surfaces of the molars. To reverse white spots and small cavities, get a fluoride treatment from the dentist.
Stop putting it off
To reverse the early stages of tooth decay, all you must do is use fluoride treatments and improve your oral habits.
That said, if tooth decay has already made it past the enamel into the inner layers of a tooth, you need to have that tooth treated.
Call us today to see how to reverse your tooth decay.