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How can I protect my teeth? We all know that a great looking smile makes a very good first impression. There is something about a beautiful show of pearly white teeth that is quite impressive. But, how does a person maintain a beautiful smile? By taking extra special care of their teeth and by keeping tooth decay at bay. Tooth decay ruins tooth enamel, which is the outer layer of your teeth. This allows plaque to form which over time erodes tooth enamel. When the enamel begins to wear down, cavities start to form.  So, how do you protect your teeth from tooth decay? Read further as we discuss options for eliminating tooth decay. 

Tooth Decay Explained

Tooth decay can be a problem for everyone. It is the destruction of tooth enamel, which allows plaque to form on the teeth. Plaque is a very sticky bacteria that forms on the teeth after eating or drinking foods that contain sugar or acid. Because plaque is so sticky it holds sugary acids on your teeth which is when the enamel weakens. This is when cavities begin to start forming. Although cavities are more common with children, everyone is susceptible to getting them. Adult activities often occur due to erosion of enamel and the recession of gums and the presence of gum disease. Tooth roots are susceptible to plaque because they are covered with a soft tissue called cementum. This makes them vulnerable to tooth decay and more sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages. Also, decay found around the margins or edges of fillings can be detected in older adults. Fillings can weaken and break down over the years, and they can fracture. Bacteria can then leak through into tiny fractures which will cause acid to build up and create more tooth decay. How does a person protect their teeth from tooth decay? Take a look below at our list of tips on how to protect your teeth from tooth decay.

Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay

First of all, the best tip to follow to prevent tooth decay is to exercise good oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing daily. You should brush after every meal, but at least twice a day. You should floss after every meal as well. It is highly recommended that the toothpaste you use be one that has fluoride. If you indulge in sugary foods, wait for about 30 minutes before using your toothbrush and brushing your teeth so that you don’t harm the enamel of your teeth. And, if you are unable to brush right after a meal, at least rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash. You may want to consider a fluoride mouthwash in addition to the fluoride toothpaste for added protection against tooth decay.

Then, a person should keep up with regularly scheduled dentist appointments. Routine dental care like exams, a professional dental cleaning and polishing can really help keep tooth decay away. Talk to your dentist about how often you should be scheduling appointments for a routine dental cleaning and exam. Some suggest every six months, but every individual will be different.

Next, consider getting dental sealants, especially for school age children. Dental sealants can help both adults and kids keep tooth decay at bay. Sealants are a plastic coating that seal off the grooves of your teeth where food and bacteria form. Sealants are applied to the surface of the back teeth and can last for ten years with proper care.

Try to cut back on foods that are sugary and have carbs. The bacteria in your mouth feeds off the sugary foods and can begin to produce a harmful acid that can harm tooth enamel . Brush and floss after consuming these kinds of foods or beverages. Your diet is crucial to your overall health, and that includes your oral health. Foods that get stuck in your teeth promote tooth decay, like popcorn, or chips. And processed foods are not much better for your teeth. Try to eat a lot of fresh vegetables or fruits. These types of food increase saliva flow and rinses harmful bacteria in your mouth away from the teeth.

There are also natural methods to consider. You can try vitamin D supplements to keep the enamel of the teeth strong and durable. Licorice root has antibacterial properties that may help your oral health. Aloe vera gel has been suggested to help remineralize the enamel of teeth. There is a technique called oil pulling that is a part of an ancient health system called Ayurveda. It calls for you to swish coconut or sesame oil around in your mouth for a prescribed amount of time without swallowing it. When the prescribed time is up, you spit the oil out in the sink. Oil pulling has been shown to reduce the amount of plaque in the mouth, which improves the enamel of the teeth.

For more information, contact a professional dentist at Parkview Dentistry

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