Tooth decay prevention requires an understanding of what tooth decay is and how it forms. Tooth decay, or cavities, form when foods high in carbohydrates such as breads, cereal, milk, pasta, fruit juices, sweets and candy remain on the teeth. Healthy bacteria found in the mouth digest the carbohydrates, forming acids. When the acids mix with food debris, saliva, and bacteria, plaque is formed. Plaque sticks to the outside of teeth dissolving the enamel creating holes called cavities. Tooth decay prevention relies on preventing the buildup of plaque on the teeth. You can also avoid this by looking for a Dentist in Batavia IL. There are lots of them that you can choose from.
By following good dental hygiene practices, tooth decay is preventable.
- Brush your teeth at least two times per day preferably after meals or snacks. Three or more times are even better as it keep the teeth free of food residues necessary for the formation of plaque. Use toothpaste with fluoride and brush for 3 to 4 minutes. Brush in a circular motion covering the outside, inside and between the teeth. Brush your tongue to remove any bacteria present and rinse thoroughly with plain water. Ask your dentist for recommendations for the type of toothbrush you should use
- Brush teeth after sticky sweet snacks to remove any residue from the teeth. This is especially important before bedtime when plague has a long time to form. Rinse thoroughly to remove any residue of food or toothpaste.
- Floss between teeth daily. Be sure to floss the area of the tooth below the gum line as well as the potion that lies above the gum. Hold the floss firmly against the base of the tooth and pull upward swiping the side of the tooth and scraping off plaque. Plaque that is not removed turns to tartar that cannot be removed by brushing or flossing and requires dental procedures performed by a dentist or dental assistant. Generally, it takes plaque 24 hours to solidify and begin turning to plaque. Flossing more than once a day is not necessary to remove plaque and prevent buildup.
- Avoid foods high in sugar or sugary beverages and opt for healthy alternatives instead. Fresh raw vegetables help to keep the teeth clean and promote good dental health.
- Take a fluoride supplement or drink fluoridated water to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride strengthens teeth by rebuilding weak tooth enamel reversing early signs of tooth decay and is beneficial for both children and adults in preventing tooth decay.
- Ask your dentist about sealants. These thin plastic seals applied to the surface of molars protect the tooth from cavities by sealing tooth fissures and preventing tooth decay. Sealants are routine care for children and may be recommended for adults as well.
- Chew gum with xylitol, an artificial sweetener made from extracts of the birch tree. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry confirmed that chewing gum containing xylitol suppresses the growth of harmful bacteria preventing cavities from developing. Choose gum that lists xylitol in the first three ingredients and chew for 5 minutes after every meal for therapeutic levels to be effective.
- Visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
Tooth decay prevention requires good home care consisting of a regular schedule of brushing and flossing to manage the buildup of plaque. When combined with healthy food choices, fluoride supplements, and regular visits to the dentist most tooth decay is avoidable and preventable.