Safeguard your teeth against tooth decay.
Many factors can lead to tooth decay, but bacteria plays the most significant role. That said, it is essential to understand that all of us have bacteria inside of our mouths. When this bacteria is left to sit on our teeth, it starts to form plaque, a white film composed of tons of bacteria. When we don’t take the appropriate steps to care for our oral health, the bacteria can begin to produce acids that eventually erode our tooth enamel. And when these acids come into contact with the outer layer of our teeth, they start to create cavities.
Of course, if you are like most adults in Buxton, Maine, you don’t want a cavity. So what are the best ways to prevent them and tooth decay from starting in the first place? By adopting these 10 strategies, you will do your mouth and whole body good and considerably lessen any future tooth decay risks.
1. Brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste.
If you’re wondering when and how often you should brush your teeth each day, the answer is simple. The American Dental Association suggests brushing your teeth at least twice per day with fluoride toothpaste. But, not only that, be sure to brush for at least two minutes each time you brush. Brushing your teeth, especially after eating or drinking sugary beverages, helps remove food and plaque.
2. Floss your teeth once per day.
Though brushing your teeth twice a day is critical to maintaining good oral health, it’s not enough. It is also essential that you floss your teeth each day and make sure to get that floss between all of your teeth, even those far in the back. Flossing helps you get to places your toothbrush can’t. And it ensures that tiny food particles get removed from in between your teeth.
3. Rinse your mouth with a fluoridated mouthwash after brushing and flossing.
After brushing and flossing your teeth, be sure to rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash. Using mouthwash each day helps reduce the bacteria inside your mouth, and as a result, it reduces the amount of dental plaque that forms. Using a fluoridated mouthwash regularly also helps prevent periodontal disease.
4. Visit your dentist regularly.
Any good family dentist will suggest a trip to the dentist’s office twice per year. Seeing the dentist every six months helps them catch tooth decay early on, before it gets too severe. Preventive dentistry can help save you time, money, pain, and discomfort in the future. During your visit, you will receive a thorough dental cleaning that will help remove set-in stains and plaque between your teeth and underneath your gums. After your visit, your teeth will look better, and your breath will smell better too.
5. Get cavities filled right away.
Another benefit of seeing your dentist twice per year is that they can identify cavities early on and fill them right away. Dental fillings can restore the shape and stability of your teeth and help prevent further damage such as tooth decay or tooth loss. Dental fillings are used to fill cavities, repair injured or broken teeth, and restore worn-out or eroded teeth.
6. Drink plenty of water.
You’ve probably read several articles about how much water you should drink each day. For example, the Mayo Clinic suggests that we drink between 11.5 to 15.5 cups of water per day, based on our sex and weight. Drinking water helps keep our bodies running efficiently and effectively and helps keep our mouths clean and healthy by washing away food particles left behind in our mouths. Quite simply, water is the best beverage for your teeth.
7. Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables.
If you’re like most adults, you grew up with your parents reinforcing the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. Not only do fruits and veggies help provide us with essential vitamins and minerals, but they also help fill us up without causing us to consume excess calories. But aside from the vital role fruits and veggies play in our diets, crunchy fruits and vegetables can help clean our mouths. Consuming fruits such as apples and pears or veggies like celery and broccoli give our mouths a workout and help clear away plaque and bacteria.
8. Avoid frequent snacking or sipping on sweet beverages throughout the day.
There are many medical opinions out there on how often you should eat throughout the day. Most medical professionals suggest that six small meals per day are best, but three well-portioned meals throughout the day will suffice. The challenge for our mouths comes in when we snack throughout the day in addition to our meals. Every time we put something into our mouth, we risk leaving more food particles behind. And when we drink sugary beverages like cola or fruit juice, that sugar gets dumped on our teeth too. So, too much snacking throughout the day can not only lead to weight gain but it also increases our risk of developing dental caries (cavities).
9. Chew sugar-free gum.
If you like to snack or have a lot of nervous energy, chewing on gum can help satisfy those needs. But gum tends to have a lot of sugar and can be bad for our teeth. On the other hand, chewing sugar-free gum can satisfy those needs and stimulate saliva production, which aids in washing away bacteria or food particles. This said, we’d be remiss if we didn’t reiterate that chewing sugar-free gum is not a replacement for daily toothbrushing and flossing.
10. Consider sealants or fluoride treatments.
During your next trip to the dentist, ask about sealants or fluoride treatments for your teeth. Sealants can help preserve your teeth, and though they are not a cure-all, they are cost-effective and can help control tooth decay in certain areas of your mouth. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making your teeth more resilient to plaque bacteria and the resulting acids. And, depending on your bite, your dental sealant can last for years and years.
Let the Tory Hill Dental team help you prevent cavities and tooth decay
By following the above suggestions, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing cavities and tooth decay. And, when our mouths are healthy, we are less likely to need to make a trip to the emergency dentist. So, if you need a dental cleaning or have a cavity that requires a filling, now is the time to request an appointment with the best dentist in Buxton, Maine.
We look forward to seeing you and helping you protect your smile.