How To Stop Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is a very common issue that occurs when bacteria builds in the teeth, resulting in plaque building up which eventually hardens to form tartar. When tartar is left untreated, it causes the enamel to become brittle, then resulting in tooth decay, which will require you to have fillings or if the issue is left untreated, it can get more severe and require endodontics (root canal treatment), or the removal of the tooth.
There are quite a few different things that can cause tooth decay, so we are here with some tips on how to stop tooth decay from developing, as well as helping you to catch it early if it does. This can help you to prolong the life of your teeth, keeping your smile happy and healthy!
See Your Dentist Every 6 Months
The first thing you should do when it comes to how to stop tooth decay is to see your dentist every 6 months. Firstly, they will be able to assess your oral health and identify areas you may be missing when brushing or flossing, so that you can pay more attention to them at home and prevent plaque, and therefore tartar, from building up. For example, you might be neglecting the back teeth in your mouth when brushing, which they will be able to identify, so this is an alteration you can make to stop tooth decay.
Also, some people are naturally more susceptible to tooth decay than others, so visiting your dentist as a form of preventative dentistry every 6 months will mean that if signs of tooth decay do start to appear, no matter how thorough your oral hygiene routine is, it can be caught and treated early. If tartar is left on the teeth much longer than this, the route for treatment will likely be more invasive and also expensive. So, make sure you’re consistently seeing your dentist every 6 months and they will be able to support you in learning how to stop tooth decay!
Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
Another vital component in how to stop tooth decay is avoiding sugary foods and drinks. None of us are perfect and we all eat sugary foods now and again, but keeping your consumption to a minimum is important. Sugar on the teeth is one of the main causes of tooth decay, as when there is sugar in the mouth, it reacts with the bacteria in your mouth to produce an acid. This then breaks down the enamel in the mouth, causing tooth decay.
So, limiting the sugar in your mouth is very important. If it is unavoidable, make sure that you have a good drink of water after eating or drinking to try and wash away as much sugar as possible. Drinking water certainly doesn’t replace brushing, but it is a good intermediary until you can get home and brush properly. You should also make sure that you don’t brush your teeth within 30 minutes of eating or drinking sugary foods, as your teeth will still be vulnerable.
Use Products Containing Fluoride
Another way that you can help to prevent tooth decay is by using products containing fluoride. When you choose toothpaste or mouthwash that contains fluoride, you will be providing your teeth with powerful minerals that help to strengthen the enamel of the teeth. When acid does then develop in the mouth, your teeth are more resistant to it. Products containing fluoride are no more expensive than those without, so just have a quick look at the ingredients list when you’re next buying your dental products to make sure it contains fluoride.
Then, make sure you don’t rinse your mouth out with water afterwards, as this will wash away the fluoride before it has had a chance to do its magic. If you’re unsure and want some advice on the right oral health products to be using, simply ask your dentist and they will be able to give recommendations based on your oral health specifically.
Brush Twice A Day, Floss Once A Day
One of the best ways that you can learn how to stop tooth decay is to brush twice a day, and floss once a day. Make sure that you brush your teeth thoroughly every morning, getting in between your teeth with the brush, as this will help to remove any plaque that may have built up overnight. Then, in the evening when you have finished eating and drinking for the day (remember to leave it 30 minutes if you have eaten anything sugary), floss your teeth to remove any food build up from between the teeth and also any plaque. Then, brush your teeth well and use mouthwash. This will help to remove buildup, so tartar doesn’t develop and therefore tooth decay is prevented. It is absolutely vital that you do this for your oral health, to keep your teeth, mouth and gums as healthy as possible!
Although in some cases tooth decay is unavoidable, there is so much that we can do to learn how to stop tooth decay where possible. From our oral hygiene routines to the products we choose and making sure we go to see our dentists, taking a few measures to stop tooth decay and prolong the life of our teeth is so worth it in the long run!
If you are ever concerned about tooth decay, or you want to learn more about how to stop tooth decay, contact us today!