Getting the Facts on Tooth Decay and Cavity Prevention
Probably for as long as you can remember, you have been warned about the dangers of tooth decay. You have likely been reminded countless times about the importance of brushing, flossing, and maintaining a good dental care routine. But, do you have a solid understanding of what tooth decay actually is and how it develops? Keep reading for some handy insights on cavity prevention.
Simply put, tooth decay is characterized by the breakdown of a tooth’s structure that impacts both the outer enamel as well as the dentin. Decay happens when carbohydrate-rich food and beverage items like candy, bread, milk, or fruit are allowed to remain on the teeth after being consumed. Bacteria that naturally reside in the mouth then feed on those starches and sugars, transforming them into acid. These elements combine to create plaque, which sticks stubbornly to your teeth. Ultimately, the acids work to dissolve tooth enamel, causing the holes known as cavities. For adults, as well as children, tooth decay can become a serious problem, but engaging in simple cavity-prevention techniques can work wonders. First, brushing at least twice daily with fluoride-containing toothpaste, and particularly before bed, helps remove dangerous food buildup. Use of dental floss or an interdental cleaner also helps get rid of food particles.
Maintaining a healthy diet and restricting snacks can also help prevent carbohydrate accumulation on the surface of your teeth and keep tooth decay at bay. Drinking fluoridated water is another effective and simple way to protect teeth from cavities. Making a habit of seeing a dentist at least twice a year for thorough exams and cleanings is also essential to maintaining good oral health.
Affordable dentists everywhere are also beginning to recommend that patients chew gum containing xylitol, as it has been shown to slow the bacterial growth responsible for tooth decay. In addition, researchers are working on new products that may be placed between teeth in order to provide a slow release of protective fluoride over time. Other potentially imminent breakthroughs include rinses and toothpastes that may actually reverse tooth decay when used at an early stage of its development.
The bottom line is that by following a series of cavity-prevention tips and adopting some healthy lifestyle habits, you can make a big difference in your ability to prevent tooth decay.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in St. Clair Shores, call Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores today at (248) 850-1809 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in St. Clair Shores. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores.