Tooth decay is among the most common of all dental diseases. More than 90% of adults ages 20 to 64 have had tooth decay in their permanent teeth, according to research published by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. However, it is preventable and with the following tips, it’s possible to avoid the damage and discomfort of cavities.
Brushing – Brushing is recommended as a way of preventing cavities, and other issues such as bad breath, gum disease and stains. Brush teeth at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste in order to remove the sticky sugars and starches that accumulate over time. Remove particles and plaque buildup from between the teeth by using dental floss at least once a day.
Professional Cleanings – Nothing can replace the professional care provided by the dentist. Dentists examine the health of the teeth and gums during regular checkups, and can catch a disease before it progresses to a more aggressive, advanced stage. This helps patients avoid the pain of disease, as well as the expense of more complex, and invasive treatment.
Dental Washes – Rinsing the mouth out with a fluoride rinse can also help dissolve and wash away bacteria and other detritus, as well as provide additional protection for teeth enamel.
Fluoride – Fluoride is a natural mineral that is delivered systemically (fortified water) and topically through products such as rinses, toothpastes, and professional treatments. Fluoride strengthens enamel and prevents the deterioration of the tooth structure – drinking at least a pint of fluoridated water a day is recommended in order to protect children from tooth decay.
Eat Well – Food plays a large part in the health of teeth. By avoiding frequent snacking and by eating tooth-healthy foods, tooth decay can be kept at bay. Snacking regularly means the mouth doesn’t have time to neutralize the sugars and starches that stick to the teeth. To keep teeth healthy, it is best to eat some foods only in moderation, such as candy, pretzels, and chips.
Dental Treatments – If you are particularly prone to tooth decay, talk to the dentist about other dental treatments, such as antibacterial treatments, sealants, and fluoride treatments.