Tooth decay can be defined as the destruction of a tooth’s structure, and is an issue that many of us have experienced at some time or another. This is a problem that has affect upon the outer-coating (enamel) of the tooth and can occur when carbohydrate-dense food, like bread, milk, cake, and sweets, are left on the teeth for long periods of time. Bacteria living in the mouth can digest these foods, turning them into acids that, when combined with saliva, form plaque; clinging to the teeth. The acids found within plaque are known to dissolve tooth enamel, creating holes in the tooth called cavities. This is something that we’re sure none of us aim to face, so below we have compiled a list of actions you can take to prevent the causes of tooth decay.
Taking good care of your oral health may seem like the most obvious trick in the book, but it can work wonders for preventing the risk of cavities. Brushing your teeth for just a few minutes at least twice a day may be considered one of the most effective ways to fight the plaque and bacteria that resides in your mouth; especially brushing before you go to sleep, as allowing for bacteria to linger on your teeth the whole night can promote the formation of enamel damaging acids.
Another action you can take to prevent the risk of tooth decay is to ensure that you floss your teeth for a few minutes daily at the very least. Flossing is the most effective way to ensure all sides of your teeth remain clean and in good condition, which is an obligation that shouldn’t be taken lightly and can be detrimental to the maintenance of a healthy set of teeth.
Prolonged exposure of teeth to drinks with high levels of acidity, such as teas and coffees, can dramatically heighten your chances of forming new cavities. The problems with beverages that contain harmful additives such as sugars, creams, and syrups are that they remain in your saliva for long periods of time. However, this can be combatted by keeping consumption limited to 20 minutes, or less, at a time, and drinking water afterwards to rinse your mouth; keeping saliva from becoming too sugary and subsequently eating away at the surface of your teeth. Alternatively, you could try drinking your coffee through a straw, helping to keep sugar-filled liquid off your teeth all together.
Drinking water containing fluoride more regularly is also one of the easiest and most beneficial ways to combat the chances of tooth decay. Fluoride is a mineral often found within local tap water that, in the right amounts, can work miracles for strengthening teeth and thus preventing tooth decay. Water also helps to dilute acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth, helping you to remain cavity free!
Carrying out regular visits to your local dental practice for oral exams and professional cleanings is one of the best ways to prevent the damage of enamel and subsequent formation of cavities on the tooth. This also gives opportunity for any rising issues to be identified and resolved before becoming too serious, meaning any developing tooth decay can be treated appropriately without causing too much of an issue to the overall health of your teeth. Visiting the dental clinic, or even the emergency dentist, if you notice a slight problem beginning to arise can ultimately be the difference between a thorough cleaning and a filling.
To conclude, it is important that you ensure your teeth are cared for properly to prevent the cause of major issues such as tooth decay. If you’re suffering from tooth decay and fear you may require treatment to absolve this, visit our fillings service page to discover what we can do to help, or get in touch to find out more.