A healthy smile can be an important aspect in your quality of life. There are a number of steps you can take to keep your smile healthy by reducing your risk of developing tooth decay. Tooth decay is the most common cause of all dental problems and it is easily preventable. Here are a few suggestions from our team that will help you keep away decay.
Clean Up Your Diet
Reduce the amount of sugars and carbohydrates in your diet. Decay-causing bacteria in the mouth feed on these substances. We suggest you reduce acidic foods in your diet when possible. These foods can lead to demineralization of your teeth and can wear away the enamel structure. Citrus fruits and vinegars are very acidic. Consider adding foods high in minerals and vitamins to your diet, such as apples, leafy greens, celery, or carrots.
Oral Hygiene is Key
Routine brushing at least twice a day followed by flossing and a mouth rinse is the ideal at-home dental care routine. Brush for at least two minutes in the morning and at night. Use a soft bristle toothbrush that is small enough to reach every tooth. An electric toothbrush is one of the best tools that you can use.
Children often get dental sealants to protect the hard-to-reach teeth in the back of their mouths. The back teeth (called molars) have deep anatomical grooves that can trap food and bacteria. Dental sealants can also benefit adults and those who have a higher risk of decay. Dental sealants are a layer of plastic-like material that coats the top surface of the tooth. Sealants protect the crevices in the tooth where bacteria reside and they minimize the tooth’s exposure to harmful sugars and acids that wear down enamel.
When left untreated, tooth decay can cause discomfort and spread to other healthy teeth. It can even lead to a dental infection. You can combat tooth decay by reducing sugars and acids in your diet and brushing and flossing regularly. For some patients, dental sealants might be a solution. If you are concerned about a possible dental infection due to tooth decay, please contact our oral surgery team in our Lakewood, NY oral surgeon office as soon as possible.