Tooth decay is the second most widespread health condition in the United States. Although the situation is more rampant among children and teenagers, the truth is that everyone is prone to cavities.
Keep reading to learn how to prevent tooth decay and keep your mouth healthy.
Factors that can lead to tooth decay:
- Dry mouth syndrome
- High consumption of carbohydrate and sugary foods
- Poor oral hygiene habits
Symptoms of tooth decay
The signs of a cavity are not always apparent when the decay starts. This why we recommend regular visits to the dentist to detect the cavities before they worsen. When the condition gets worse, you may experience symptoms such as a toothache, teeth sensitivity and gum bleeding.
Preventing tooth decay
Dentists recommend the following practices to prevent tooth decay:
Brush your teeth after meals using a fluoride toothpaste
Preferably, ensure you brush after each meal and at least twice daily. Using a fluoride toothpaste with help fortify your enamel against decay. You should remember to use an interdental cleaner or flosser to clean debris that sits between teeth.
You should delay brushing for about 30 minutes after eating sugary meals to prevent scraping away the enamel. If it is difficult to brush after a meal, you should at least rinse your mouth with water or dental wash. If you have a child, you should ask your doctor for ways to care for their teeth correctly.
If you are particularly prone to developing cavities, the dentist may suggest you rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash. You can ask for recommendations for the most effective cavity-fighting rinses.
Sealants are particularly recommended for young children. They can be beneficial for adults as well. Sealants are protective sheets that shield the grooves on the tooth’s surface where tiny food particles and bacteria tend to accumulate.
Sealants are commonly used on the chewing surface of the molars and can last for about 10 years before needing a replacement.
Visit the dentist’s office regularly
Speak with your dentist to know how often you need to visit to keep your mouth healthy. Having your teeth examined regularly, getting professional deep cleaning and other dental procedures can help prevent tooth decay and detect issues before they become severe.
Reduce snacks and sugary drinks
Constantly snacking and drinking exposes your teeth to the risk of decay. The bacteria that inhabit the mouth feast on sugars and carbs to generate an acid that dissolves the tooth enamel. Instead, eat more vegetables and fruits as they improve saliva flow and remineralize the enamel. Preferably, drink water often, limit snacks and if you must drink something sugary, use a straw.
Get antibacterial treatment
In some cases, medical conditions can predispose you to dental decay. You may need to consult your dentist about medications that can reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth, including certain antibacterial mouth rinses. You can also request fluoridation to strengthen your enamel.
If you suspect you may have tooth decay, be sure to schedule an appointment with us today.