While tooth decay does impact millions of people, from young children to seniors, you can take steps to protect your smile from the onset of cavities. There are a number of ways to prevent tooth decay, from changes to our diet to practicing better oral hygiene at home.
Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay
- Brush and Floss: When you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, you help remove plaque and food particles from the surface of the teeth and from between the teeth. You reduce the risk of cavities developing and also protect your smile from the onset of gingivitis and severe discoloration.
- Avoid Sugary Drinks: Bacteria can break down sugar particles, coating teeth in plaque buildup and increasing oral acidity. As a result, the tooth enamel can erode and make decay more likely. We suggest cutting back on sugary drinks (soda, energy drinks) and drinks with a lot of acids (sports drinks). Instead, drink more water. You stay hydrated and don’t coat your teeth in harmful sugars and starches.
- Eat Healthier Snacks: Not only do healthier snacks (such as fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, or dairy) contain less sugar, the rougher, crisper fruits and vegetables (apples, carrots, broccoli) can actually help remove plaque from the surface of the teeth.
- See the Dentist Every Six Months: Once every six months you should see your dentist for a checkup (to look for signs of decay) and a cleaning (to remove plaque from the teeth). A cleaning is actually the only way to completely remove plaque from the surface of the teeth.
- Don’t Ignore Sensitivity: If you notice your teeth feel sensitive to hot or cold temperatures then please schedule a visit. The doctor can examine your smile to see if there are signs of tooth decay. He can then recommend treatment to address the problem.