Tooth decay is a common dental health issue that can be caused by poor oral hygiene habits and diets high in sugar. When bacteria build up on the surface of teeth, they produce acids that eat away at the enamel and create pockets on the tooth surface. These cavities are called “decay”, and if left untreated, they can cause pain, infection, and even loss of teeth.
The effect of poor oral health
Poor oral health not only affects the mouth but can have a serious negative impact on overall health as well. Poor dental hygiene is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and problems with blood sugar control. It’s also associated with respiratory illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia.
Tips for preventing tooth decay
Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take every day to help protect your teeth from decay. Here are our favorite 10 tips for preventing teeth decay and why you should follow them daily.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day. Brushing helps remove plaque, the sticky film of bacteria on teeth that can lead to decay. Flossing removes food particles and other debris from areas between the teeth where brushing alone cannot reach.
- Reduce sugary drinks and snacks. Sugar is one of the main culprits for decay, so reducing sweet treats will help prevent cavities from forming.
- Chew sugarless gum after meals to increase saliva flow in your mouth which helps wash away food particles and reduce acidity levels caused by bacteria buildup.
- Rinse your mouth out with water after eating or drinking anything sugary. This can help to neutralize acids and wash away food particles that can feed bacteria in your mouth.
- Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once a day to reduce plaque and gingivitis (gum disease).
- Avoid smoking or using chewing tobacco as these can increase the risk for serious gum problems like periodontal disease, which is linked to other health issues such as heart attack and stroke.
- Make sure you’re getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus from whole foods since all three are essential for strong teeth and healthy gums.
- Have regular dental checkups every 6 months so your dentist can identify potential problems early on before they become serious.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your dental health, don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist. He or she can provide advice and help develop a customized plan for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
- Finally, if you think you may be at risk for tooth decay, consider getting sealants on your molars (back teeth) as an extra line of defense against bacteria buildup.
Following these tips can help prevent tooth decay and maintain good oral hygiene. However, it’s also important to visit North Pointe Dental Associates regularly to ensure that any potential problems are caught early on before they become severe and result in more extensive treatment down the line.
Schedule your next appointment today
Schedule your next appointment with us today if you have any questions or concerns about tooth decay. We’re here to help keep your mouth healthy!