While many people believe that at-home oral hygiene is enough to maintain good oral health, regular dental cleaning appointments are actually crucial. Without regular dental cleanings, the teeth and gums are susceptible to infection and decay, both of which can be detrimental to their oral and overall health.General dentists recommend dental cleaning appointments twice a…
5 Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay From a General Dentist
Every general dentist has the same goal — to save patients’ permanent teeth. Along with providing professional care, the dentist also educates people on what they can do. In looking over these tips, some may seem evident while you find others surprising. Avoiding tooth decay is extremely important for both your oral and physical health.
What is tooth decay?
The first thing is for people to understand what tooth decay is and why it is so bad. In simple terms, this is something that occurs when tooth enamel softens. This actually damages the structure of the teeth. Decay develops for a variety of reasons. Learning about the reasons helps people take the necessary preventative measures.
1. Proper brushing
Whether due to poor childhood rearing, laziness or rushing to get out the door, a lot of people do not brush their teeth correctly. Not only should an individual do this after every meal and snacks but also for a minimum of two minutes. Some people actually use a kitchen timer to help them stay on track. Proper brushing removes the buildup of plaque and the growth of bacteria that lead to tooth decay.
2. Daily flossing
A general dentist recommends that patients floss every day. Particularly, they should do this following every meal. Otherwise, small particles of food become stuck in between the teeth. This too causes plaque buildup and bacterial growth. Not flossing every day could also lead to gum disease. Since floss comes in a small container that easily fits in a pocket or purse, there is no excuse not to do this every day.
3. Reduce sugary and starchy foods
For many people, this one is hard. However, foods high in sugar and starch cause a reaction within the mouth. For that reason, these often lead to tooth decay. Of the two, sugar is extremely harsh on teeth. Sugary foods react with bacteria found in saliva. That causes acid to form that, in turn, erodes the teeth’s protective enamel.
4. The right products
Sometimes, people buy whatever toothpaste is on sale. Unfortunately, that can come at a price in the way of tooth decay. A general dentist recommends that individuals purchase a product that contains fluoride. This substance helps to strengthen tooth enamel, which fights decay. Along with the right toothpaste, people should get an anti-bacterial mouthwash and use it after every brushing.
5. Clean the entire mouth
Rather than focus solely on the teeth, people need to clean the entire mouth. This includes the tongue and gums. For the tongue, a general dentist suggests a scraper sold at any drug or discount store. Just as with the teeth, the tongue harbors bacteria. It is also essential to clean around the gumline since food particles can become trapped.
When to see a general dentist
If you begin to experience any pain or discomfort, you need to see a general dentist right away. Going to the dental office early is a great way to prevent tooth decay. You might need to have a cavity filled or perhaps, a tooth cracked without you knowing it. By sticking to your regular visits, your permanent teeth will stay healthy and strong.
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