A Comprehensive Guide to Prevent Tooth Decay and Cavities

By on June 19, 2020
Tooth decay

Tooth decay is the deterioration of the structure of your tooth. It can affect the enamel (the outermost coating of the teeth) or the dentin (the inner layer) of your teeth. Tooth decay often begins when food particles, such as from cereals, cakes, bread, candy, milk, soda, and fruits, are left on the teeth. 

Your mouth contains bacteria that digest these food particles, transforming them into acids. These particles, bacteria, saliva, and acid can combine to form plaque, a hard substance that clings to the tooth. The acid in the enamel gradually dissolves the enamel, creating holes in the tooth, better known as a cavity. 

‘’Brush and floss your teeth twice a day to prevent tooth decay and cavities.’’ Does this sound familiar? Nearly everyone knows that they should brush and floss. Yet despite this common knowledge, tooth decay and cavities remain a widespread problem among both children and adults. Peak Family Dental Care in Arizona has some additional recommendations that could help you better prevent decay and cavities.

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Get to know your oral health better 

The first and most important step in taking full control of your dental health is understanding your oral health and assessing your cavity risk level. That means you should visit a trusted dentist and undergo a comprehensive dental exam every six months. 

Regular oral health exams and in-depth discussions with your dentist empower you to know the state of your dental health. Your dentist can identify the initial signs of tooth decay, recommend the most viable treatment approach, and guide you on how to prevent further tooth damage. Knowing your cavity risk level makes it possible to take the most effective approach to maintain healthy teeth. 

Brush your teeth 

Brushing your teeth is the one of simplest and most effective ways to prevent the formation of plaque, tooth decay, and cavities. Dentists recommend brushing after every meal and before bedtime. Keep in mind that brushing late night is important because allowing those bacteria linger on your teeth and gums overnight can cause damage to your enamel. 

The American Dental Association emphasizes the importance of brushing after every meal. Here are tips to help you brush your teeth effectively. 

  • Use the right toothbrush with soft bristles. When brushing your teeth, apply minimal pressure to minimize the risk of gingival injury. 
  • When brushing, place the toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees against your gums. Move the toothbrush back and forth (gently), brushing the outer and chewing surface of your teeth. 
  • Clean the inner surface of your teeth using the tip of the brush. 
  • Brush your tongue gently to remove bacteria and keep your mouth fresh. 
  • Replace your toothbrush after every three to four months. 

Brushing your teeth regularly can help prevent the formation of plaque and eventual tooth decay. Talk to your dentists to learn more details about how you should brush, choose the right toothbrush, and keep your teeth healthy. 

Minimize intake sugary foods and drinks 

You probably have that daily cup of coffee, morning latte, or a cup of tea. However, exposing your teeth to acidic tea or coffee, compounded by sugar or milk can increase your tooth decay or cavity risk. But this doesn’t mean you should not drink these beverages. However, you should follow these steps. Drink the beverage within a 20-minute time window and rinse your mouth thoroughly with fresh water afterward. 

Sipping coffee isn’t bad. However, the sugars in creams and syrups are likely to stay in your saliva over a long time. This is bad news for your oral health. Therefore, you should brush or rinse your mouth with a lot of water after drinking coffee, fruit juice, and or any other sweetened beverage. 

Accumulating scientific evidence suggests that drinking water with enough fluoride is one of the most beneficial things you can do to prevent cavities. 

Quit smoking 

Studies show that smoking and the use of tobacco is among the leading causes of dental problems. You probably know that smoking has a negative impact on your overall body health. But did you know that the habit poses a danger to your teeth, gums, and mouth? Indeed, it does more than just stain your teeth – smoking causes gum disease, tooth decay, loss of teeth, and in the worst-case scenario, it can cause oral cancer.

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A Comprehensive Guide to Prevent Tooth Decay and Cavities