Tooth decay (dental caries) is damage that occurs when germs (bacteria) in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth. Tooth decay can lead to holes in the teeth (cavities). Cavities usually happen over time.
Tooth decay can be prevented or stopped by daily cleaning and fluoride treatments.
If treatment is needed, the dentist may fill cavities with materials such as silver amalgam or composite resin. In severe cases, root canals or tooth removal may be needed.
Steps to take to prevent tooth decay include:
Proper Oral Hygiene
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is crucial for preventing tooth decay. Make sure to brush after every meal if possible, especially if the meal includes sugary foods or drinks. Flossing can also help remove food residue between teeth and under the gums that brushing alone cannot reach — which means fewer bacteria buildup on your teeth.
Cut down on sugar
In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day, it’s important to cut down on sugary food and drinks. This will help to protect your teeth against decay. Try to avoid sugary foods at mealtimes, as eating them with other food reduces their effects. Instead of reaching for the sweets, why not keep some sugar-free gum or sugar-free mints handy? These can satisfy your sweet tooth and prevent acid attacks at the same time.
Use fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride helps to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce the risk of decay. It’s found in many brands of toothpaste, so check the label before you buy. Your dentist can also recommend a good brand for you. Consider sealants or fluoride treatments to protect teeth from decay. Sealants fill in the grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth, making it harder for plaque to stick there, but they need to be redone every few years as they wear down. Fluoride treatments strengthen enamel, but they need to be repeated every three, six, or 12 months depending on the type used.
Fluoride strengthens teeth against acid attack. When used as directed, fluoride toothpaste can reduce cavities in children by up to 40 percent.
Don’t forget to floss
Flossing is an important part of keeping your mouth clean, as it removes food debris from between teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. It’s best to do this every day, preferably at night time before you go to bed.
Quitting smoking is not just great for your overall health, it can also help prevent tooth decay. This is because chemicals in both cigarettes and chewing tobacco can cause yellowing of the teeth, bad breath, and staining. Smoking may also inhibit your body’s ability to fight infection, so you are more likely to have problems with gum disease and cavities.
Don’t wait for the pain to see the dentist
One of the biggest reasons for tooth decay is not going to the dentist regularly. People often wait until they experience pain to go see a dentist. However, when you neglect your dental care, it can lead to more serious health problems down the road. It is really important to take care of your teeth and be regular at preventive dental checkups – preventive dental care can save your smile!
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet is the best way to prevent tooth decay. Avoid foods and beverages that are high in sugar such as soda, candy, and fruit juices. These sugary foods and beverages stick to your teeth and cause tooth decay. Instead, focus on eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day so that you can wash away food particles from between your teeth.
No snacks before bedtime
Be sure to brush your teeth, when you go to bed. After that, don’t snack on anything. If you eat something else during the evening and do not brush your teeth, it will encourage your career to develop faster.
Keep your mouth moist
You’ve probably heard of “dry mouth,” a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth. Saliva is essential for keeping your teeth clean and preventing cavities — it washes away food particles, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria, and prevents dryness in your mouth that might encourage the growth of plaque on your teeth. If you experience frequent dry mouth, talk to your dentist about ways to increase saliva production.
Find the reasons why you have tooth decay
Tooth decay is one of the most common dental diseases in the world. It is also a preventable disease when people understand its causes and take steps to reduce their risk.
Dental decay can cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss. It happens when acids wear away the enamel (the outer surface) of your teeth.
Tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria found in plaque. These bacteria turn sugars from food and drinks into acid. The acid attacks the teeth, damaging the enamel and creating holes, or cavities. When foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) such as milk, pop, raisins, cakes, or candy are frequently left on the teeth then tooth decay occurs.
Your mouth is a direct pipeline to your bloodstream. Every time you eat or drink, the food passes through your mouth and into your body. If there are bacteria on the teeth, they can spread to other parts of the body through the blood. Keeping your teeth healthy may help reduce the risk of heart disease and other medical conditions caused by bacteria in the bloodstream.
When you have good oral health, you don’t have cavities or tooth decay. You don’t have bad breath. Your teeth are clean and bright, and you can eat all kinds of foods without pain. But when you have poor oral health, it’s hard to enjoy any of those things.