How to Prevent Tooth Decay

People rarely think about the topic of dental health. In the United States alone, more than 80% of children have cavities before they turn 18 years old and tooth decay is something that can lead to pain, infection, and a host of other dental problems. This doesn’t only affect teeth but the overall physical appearance of a person. Inside every person’s mouth are millions of bacteria that feed on starches and sugar in our diet. The presence of these bacteria combined with food residue left behind by eating and drinking can result in tooth decay and that’s a problem only a dentist can solve.

So if you’re looking for a new dentist that will take care of your whole family’s dental health you should try Smiles Dental Group, which is a dental office inside the University of Alberta, but other locations are covered as well. They offer routine dental services and cosmetic dentistry, and their professional team will make sure you get the best dental care. But cavities are something you can control to a certain degree, so this article will provide tips to help you combat this dental problem through changes in your diet and a few other steps.

What are cavities and what causes them?

Cavities, also known as tooth decay, are on the hard surface of your teeth that are permanently damaged which causes tiny holes or openings to develop. Cavities are caused by several things including:

  • Bacteria in the mouth.
  • Snacking frequently.
  • Consuming sugary drinks.
  • Inadequate cleaning of the teeth.

Cavities are also caused by tooth decay which develops when plaque forms on your teeth. The appearance of cavities varies but in general, they will appear as small chips, holes, or dark spots on the teeth. The size of the holes can vary from being as small as a dot to as big as the entire surface of the tooth and sometimes they will appear yellow, brown, or black. If you leave cavities untreated for a very long time, they can become visible to the naked eye and the structure of your teeth can begin to soften and dissolve. In terms of pain, if your cavities are left untreated, pain can develop and toothaches can become a common occurrence. Sometimes in the early stages, you might even experience pain when you bite into your food. To detect cavities, look out for the following symptoms:

  • Tooth sensitivity.
  • Toothache
  • Holes in your teeth.
  • Brown, black or white stains on the surface of your teeth.
  • Pain when biting something.

Can cavities be avoided?

Tooth decay is the second most common disease after the common flu and as a result, oral hygiene should not be taken for granted. Here are a few measures you can take to prevent cavities from forming:

  1. Know your cavity risk level: It is a good idea to get a comprehensive dental exam done to assess where you stand in terms of cavities and what treatments you may need.
  2. Regularly brush your teeth with the correct brush: Your mouth houses millions of bacteria which can easily develop into plaque and eventually cavities so brush regularly, twice a day minimum.
  3. Reduce intake of sugary drinks and consume more water: Sugar and acid increase your risk of developing new cavities. Drinking water containing fluoride is the easiest way to prevent cavities.
  4. Floss regularly: This will clean the parts of your teeth that you might miss with your toothbrush.
  5. Stop smoking: smoking and oral tobacco can cause serious risks to your gums, teeth, and mouth and can lead to gum disease, oral cancer, and even tooth loss.

The beginning stages of cavities can be reversed by following good oral hygiene and exposing your teeth to fluoride, regularly flossing, and daily brushing.

Tips for healthier teeth

By following these practices, you can ensure that your gums and teeth stay healthy:

  1. Brush your teeth regularly with a soft-bristle
  2. Floss daily.
  3. Use fluoride toothpaste and drink fluoride water.
  4. Visit a dentist regularly for a check-up and to get your teeth cleaned.
  5. Do not smoke.
  6. Use mouthwash.
  7. Limit your sugar and starch intake.
  8. Drink plenty of water.
  9. Avoid coffee.

Cavities are a very serious health issue. They can manifest into heart health problems and even diabetes if they are not sorted out. At Fresh Dental Clinic you can contact a Pembina dentist if you feel like you’re at risk of developing cavities. Their team can spot potential issues and make sure your teeth are in top shape. In severe cases, cavities can do great damage and you might have to consider veneers or even tooth extractions. We tend to overlook the importance of oral health. It’s time for a change.

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