Start Preventing Tooth Decay Today!
Tooth decay happens when the structural integrity of the tooth’s enamel and dentin layers breaks down. The most common cause of tooth decay is poor dental hygiene. When remnants of sugary and starchy foods such as candy, bread, breakfast cereals, fruit, soda, and cake remain in the mouth, bacteria break them down into acids. Together with saliva, bacteria, and food particles, they form plaque on the surface of the teeth. Tooth enamel dissolves in acid trapped in the plaque, leading to tooth-rotting cavities. There are several steps you can take to prevent tooth decay.
You should brush your teeth at least twice each day, and more often if you eat candy or take sugar in hot drinks. Use a fluoride-based paste, as clinical tests have shown fluoride helps prevent decay. Brush for two minutes, using a timer. Clean all your teeth and brush behind them and in front.
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Use Dental Floss and Interdental Cleaners
Brushing isn’t enough to keep your teeth clean. Once a day, you should also use a good dental floss to cleanse the areas between your teeth, where debris can often remain even after brushing. Interdental cleaners, which you can pick up from any drugstore, are great for cleaning between the teeth and the gums.
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Use a Fluoride-Based, Antiseptic Mouthwash
Regular rinsing with mouthwash helps prevent tooth decay, refreshes breath, and keeps your teeth looking clean and white. A fluoride-based mouthwash strengthens enamel and dentin. The antiseptic part destroys the bacteria, which creates acid.
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Eat a Tooth-Friendly Diet
One of the best ways to avoid tooth decay is to cut out refined carbohydrates from your diet. That means at least cutting down on candy bars, pre-packaged meals, bread snacks, and dissolved sugar in hot drinks. Aim to eat a balanced, healthy diet of natural, unprocessed ingredients. If you eat processed sugars as a treat, make sure you clean your teeth straight away.
Visit the Dentist
As well as maintaining good oral hygiene and a tooth-friendly diet, you should go to your dentist at least every six months for a check-up. Your dentist can discover any problems and treat them before they become bad. She may also tell you about supplementary fluoride products, dental sealants, and best hygiene practices.
The tips above are excellent strategies for avoiding tooth decay and minimizing its effects if you already have it. While you can adopt good hygiene practices right away, it may take time to change your dietary habits. The trick is to start with smaller changes and introduce bigger ones as you get used to the new regimen.
If you have any doubts about your dental health, a visit to the dentist is always the best start. Dentists are often the first to notice signs of more serious illnesses, such as mouth cancer and ulcers. There’s no substitute for a thorough, professional clean-up, polish, and examination to support good oral health and prevent tooth decay.
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Voted New Jersey Monthly, Top Dentists 9 yrs
9 Years As A Top Dentist: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
and still going strong ….
Paul R. Feldman, DMD, FAGD, FICOI
Suburban Essex Dental
1500 Pleasant Valley Way Suite 202
West Orange, NJ 07052