Tooth decay is a serious oral health issue that can result in the need for composite fillings or even more advanced and invasive interventions. In order to avoid the need for such treatments, we try to educate our patients on actions that they can take to prevent tooth decay. Here are a few of our top tips.
Follow a thorough oral hygiene routine at home: You should be brushing twice a day and flossing daily at a minimum. Some people choose to add a post-meal brushing session, or at least rinse with water after eating to clear away any food debris that may remain in the mouth. Adding a mouthwash can be beneficial for patients who accumulate plaque fairly quickly. Ask your dentist what you should be doing at home to maintain optimal oral health.
See your dentist at least every six months: While this may not prevent tooth decay completely, such regular monitoring can detect the presence of cavities when they are smaller and easily restored by composite fillings rather than needing a crown or another extensive restoration.
Limit your intake of sugary sweets, especially sticky candies that can cling to the teeth: Sugar is an ideal nutrition source for the bacteria that attack your teeth and wear down your enamel. When you restrict sweet treats, you’re helping to improve the chances that your teeth will remain strong and undamaged by decay.
Maintain saliva production: Saliva plays a tremendously important role in keeping your teeth clean. It clears away any food residue that may stick around your mouth after a meal or snack. It also can remove decay-causing bacteria from your mouth or reduce their presence. Some medications can negatively affect saliva production, as can general dehydration, so make sure that you’re drinking enough water and monitoring your meds for any adverse side effects.
If you do have concerns about tooth decay, consult with your dentist to determine whether it is indeed present and the best course of action if it is. Schedule an evaluation at our office to discuss our best prevention tips.