By: Karli Willden
Tooth decay is what happens to your teeth when they are attacked by germs and bacteria. Initially, the first stages of tooth decay is when a sticky substance called plaque begins to form on your teeth. This plaque thrives on sugar from the foods and drinks you consume, and it contains bacteria and germs which produce acids in your mouth. These acids will attack your teeth and begin to eat away at its surface, eventually forming a hole in the tooth.
Tooth decay can cause many different dental health issues, including cavities and gum disease. These issues can be painful and costly to resolve, so the best way to avoid these issues is prevention. Listed below are a few tips on how to stop and reverse tooth decay in your daily life.
Visit the Dentist
A routine trip to the dentist every six months is important to make sure tooth decay is under control. By visiting the dentist every six months, the dentist can perform an oral exam to check for areas of possible tooth decay. Any plaque or tartar spotted inside the mouth will be removed and cleaned to stop or prevent any further tooth decay. If cavities are spotted, the dentist will provide restoration services to fill the hole and prevent dental health issues in the future. It is important to make sure your mouth is checked every six months, so you can prevent major tooth decay from occurring.
Regular Brushing & Flossing
Brushing and flossing on a regular basis is important to stop and reverse tooth decay. Brushing in the morning after you wake up is especially important, since during the night bacteria grows more rapidly. The first thing you want to do when you wake up is make sure to brush away the acids inside your mouth which are on your teeth. In addition to brushing in the morning, it is recommended to brush at least twice a day, or after every time you eat. By keeping up with regular brushing and flossing, you can stop plaque from building up and causing tooth decay.
Watch the Foods You Eat
Diet plays a large role in the health of your mouth. If you eat lots of sugary snacks in between meals throughout the day, you are at a higher risk of developing tooth decay. Bacteria found in plaque thrives off sugars and releases acids when the two come in contact. You will have a hard time keeping up with plaque, if your diet contains a lot of sugary foods and drinks. A few foods to consider limiting in your diet throughout your day include: candies, soft drinks, pastries, or other carbohydrates. If you do choose to consume these, make sure to be quick about it. Eat or drink it all at once, and not a little bite or sip at a time. This is important because each time you eat or drink, acids are activated in your mouth for twenty minutes afterwards. Drinking water or chewing gum throughout the day, however, can help to minimize these effects, along with eating cheese, almonds, celery, carrots, apples, or leafy greens. By eating a balanced diet, visiting your dentist every six months, and brushing and flossing regularly, you can stop and reverse tooth decay. Learn more dental health tips today, by checking out our other blog posts! To schedule an appointment with our Idaho Falls dentists, give us a call at (208) 524-1700.