6 Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay
Dentists love telling their patients that prevention is better than a cure. It’s slightly annoying, but they are very much in the right. Taking proper care of your oral health now will definitely help prevent tooth decay, which can lead to a lot of other problems that are not only inconvenient and uncomfortable, but also expensive to resolve.
Here are our top ten ways to prevent tooth decay and all the oral health and general health problems that can come with it.
1: Proper Oral Hygiene
It nearly goes without saying, but we’ll say it nonetheless. Brush your teeth twice a day (at least), floss once a day and use mouthwash. Just do it. Make it all a part of your routine, and make sure you’re doing it right and with the right equipment. If you need a bit of a review of how to properly take care of your teeth and what types of products you should use, check out a previous post on the subject.
This includes seeing your dentist for regular check-ups twice a year. They can review the state of your oral health and catch any issues before they arise.
2: Cut Down on Sugar
Sugar seriously contributes to tooth decay, even natural sugars like honey and fruit. If you eat a lot of sugary foods, snacks and drinks, you need to start cutting down. The bacteria in your mouth that breaks down enamel and causes tooth decay loves sugar. It feeds off it. Starve the bacteria by making sure to eat less sugar and observe good oral hygiene.
3: Stay Away From Acid
Acid erodes the surface of your teeth, which is the protective enamel. Acid wear cannot be reversed and you cannot rebuild lost enamel. To make matters worse, oral bacteria thrive in an acidic oral environment. In order to not allow this to cause tooth decay, you need to be careful about eating and drinking acidic foods and drinks like oranges, lemons, wine or soft drinks.
4: Quit Smoking
While smoking doesn’t directly cause tooth decay, it introduces toxins to your mouth, which affects its ability to fight infection. Severe gum disease is common in smokers, and this can result in tooth loss.
5: Keep Your Mouth Moist
Dry mouth can be caused by anything from medications to blocked nasal passages. Your mouth needs saliva because it serves to remove food particles from your teeth and flush the bacteria off of the surface of your teeth. Dry mouth makes bacteria grow and your saliva more acidic. Try chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva.
Even if you don’t experience dry mouth, drinking plenty of water is good for your overall oral health in the same way that saliva is.
6: Don’t Wait For Pain to See the Dentist
If you are experiencing pain in a tooth that means there is inflammation, which means that the tooth is already affected from infection or decay. If you wait for the pain, that means there is already a problem. If you ignore the pain, the decay will only increase in severity.