Tooth decay is a common condition encountered today which mainly arises out of poor oral health. Although tooth decay can be treated with timely dental intervention, the condition can deteriorate to losing tooth permanently if left unattended. Even otherwise, there can be several other problematic outcomes as severe pain and dental abscess besides the cosmetic upshot.
Fortunately, caring for teeth is not difficult and does not produce a tall order. By keeping your teeth and mouth healthy, you can reduce the possibility of many related illnesses as heart disease. One of the simplest ways of caring for teeth is preventing decay and formation of cavities. The following things can explain how to prevent tooth decay easily.
Easy Ways To Prevent Tooth Decay
The Right Time to Brush Tooth
One of the primary recommendations which dental experts provide is to brush teeth twice daily, especially before going to sleep at night. While this advice remains, there is a slight improvisation you can make by knowing the right time to brush. Excessive brushing can also be harmful for the protective enamel of teeth.
On some occasions, brushing should be avoided. For instance, when you have consumed sweet or sugary food items or beverages (like orange juice), you should refrain from brushing teeth immediately after it for at least half an hour. The bacteria in your mouth produce acidic toxins which weaken tooth enamel. Since it takes more than an hour to neutralize the effects of sugar, brushing too soon can harm the enamel.
Instead, you can brush before consuming such acidic food items to protect your teeth. Brushing removes the plaque bacteria from teeth, particularly the streptococci mutans and lactobacillus. These bacteria can increase the risk of tooth decay; the bacteria can be measured using saliva sample.
Don’t be loyal to your favorite toothbrush. Replace it often as most toothbrushes lose their abilities within a few months (two to three months). Avoid rinsing mouth with water or mouthwash after brushing as this washes away the protective toothpaste. Better, spit the excess toothpaste.
Care for Oral Health, Not Teeth Health Alone
Teeth are a part of the mouth. In order that they do not decay, you need to ensure that the other parts of the mouth are also clean and hygienic. If the tongue remains unclean, oral health remains incomplete. The grooves on the tongue’s surface should be properly cleaned to avoid bacterial infection.
A proper tongue scraper can be used along with a toothbrush for appropriate oral hygiene. Flossing has an important role in oral hygiene. Flossing can reach places which remain unreachable through the toothbrush and remove debris or food particles. Follow the right flossing techniques to keep your teeth healthy and prevent decay.
Good Oral Habits for Keeping Tooth Decay Away
Simple things can contribute to maintain tooth health and hence prevent it from decay. Flossing after eating is one such thing to do. It removes food particles trapped between teeth and reduces the possibility of bacterial attack over time. Flushing with a good mouthwash or even water can remove food particles from the mouth including the teeth. The American Dental Association recommends rinsing mouth with a fluoride containing rinse.
Regular checkups at dental clinics can monitor teeth health and identify decay, if it happens, for timely treatment. Tooth decay, the destruction of tooth structure, can affect both the outer coating of the tooth (enamel) and the dentin layer of the tooth. Once a tooth gets afflicted, other teeth can also get damaged even before you can identify the warning signals. In the absence of decay, the dental expert may recommend regular cleaning for improved oral health.
Favorable and Monitored Eating Habits
Eating habits are a reflection of your health, including teeth health. Sticky foods can remain on tooth surface and cause decay easily. Candies, chips and other carbohydrate rich foods are examples of such foods. Snacks, sugary foods, sticky foods and sweetened beverages between meals should be restricted. Sticky foods should be avoided as between-meal snacks, but may be harmless during meal.
Avoid consuming foods and beverages for prolonged periods of time between meals. This potentially upsets the remineralization/demineralization and favors the decay process. High-fiber foods keep saliva flowing and in turn aid mineral defenses against tooth decay. Include worthy sources of fiber in your diet.
Dried fruits like dates, raisins and figs are good to include. Fresh fruits and veggies are other important inclusions. Besides, whole grains should be abundant in your diet. They provide B vitamins and iron and help keep gums healthy. Additionally, they also provide magnesium which is an important constituent for bones and teeth. Bran, whole-grain cereals and pasta are good sources of whole grains.
Some More Preventive Techniques
You can implement many preventive techniques to keep teeth protected and avoid decay. Dental sealants are one way to do so. A plastic protective coating can be applied to the chewing surfaces of molars (back teeth). This protects them from decay, which are otherwise more likely to get attacked by bacteria. The sealants harden to act as protective barriers from plaque and acid attack.
Fluoride Supplements can also serve to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride can be used through toothpaste, added to water, mouth rinse, etc. Toothpaste containing fluoride can prevent mineral loss from tooth. This can be one of the most effective methods of fighting tooth decay.
The inclusion of antibacterial components can even improve the ability of your toothpaste in preventing decay. Sugar free chewing gum can also protect teeth and prevent decay. Researchers are studying the credibility of chewing gum. A potentially helpful gum is that containing xylitol.
Dental X-ray can bring out a cavity much before it is physically observed. Conditions as pregnancy can weaken teeth and make them more likely to get damaged or decayed. Talk to your doctor about maintaining oral/teeth health during such times. Antibacterial treatments can help if you are especially vulnerable to tooth decay. A medical condition may want you to implement special antibacterial mouth rinses or other treatments to reduce the harmful bacteria in your mouth.
Opt for the preventive foods like those containing calcium. Calcium is crucial for preventing tooth decay, particularly in children. Leafy green vegetables, dairy, almonds, fish and dried beans are good sources of calcium.
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