Preventing Tooth Decay
We get only 32 teeth (including our Wisdom teeth) and with proper care, they should last us our lifetime – and a lifetime today could be well into the 90’s! Regular dental care to check for tooth decay saves you time and money! In order to avoid costly, time-consuming future dental work, give your dentist a call to schedule an examination today.
Bacteria – The Main Offender
Tooth decay is erosion of the tooth enamel, the hard outside part of the tooth that is mostly made up of mineral content. Tooth decay also goes by the names caries (in dental journals primarily) and cavity, because of the “hole” that forms as a result of the decay. The main offender when it comes to tooth decay – bacteria. There are bacteria in your mouth, on your teeth, on your tongue and on your toothbrush. Bacteria mix with the plaque on your teeth and gums and then…when you eat carbohydrates and other sugary things, the bacteria (who just love all that sweet stuff!) produce acid. And it’s that acid that attacks the tooth enamel!
Keeping Tooth Decay at Bay!
There are a number of ways to reduce your risk of tooth decay and to cut down on the number of times you need to see the dentist to have those cavities filled!
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, with fluoride toothpaste, preferably in the morning and before bed!
- Floss teeth to remove plaque between and around teeth.
- Watch what you eat! Avoid sugars, sticky substances (like licorice, honey, and sugared gum), chips and pretzels that remain on tooth enamel and cause plaque – the plaque that breeds harmful bacteria!
- Ask the dentist about fluoride treatments and sealants that we can apply to teeth to strengthen and protect them.
- Visit a dentist for regular cleanings and examinations as part of your routine preventative care.
Been awhile since you’ve been here? Give a participating dentist in your area a call, to check your teeth…before little problems become larger ones!