Step-By-Step Guide to Preventing Tooth Decay
Posted by WOODRUFF FAMILY DENTISTRY on Nov 10 2021, 08:02 AM
Apart from being painful, tooth decay can lead to tooth damage and even tooth loss and affect your quality of life. Timely intervention can reverse the effects of tooth decay, and special treatments can help prevent its occurrence.
Here is a step-by-step guide to preventing tooth decay brought to you by our team at Woodruff Family Dental in Jonesboro, Arkansas:
What Is Tooth Decay?
Damage to the outer layer (enamel) of a tooth as well as the inner part (dentin) resulting in a hole or pit in the tooth is known as tooth decay.
Tooth decay sets in when plaque forms on the teeth due to a combination of bacteria, acids, food particles, and saliva. The enamel is attacked by the acids in plaque, leading to holes known as cavities or caries.
Signs of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay can be difficult to identify in its early stages. However, some of the most common signs you should look out and seek professional help for are:
- Pain when chewing or biting, or a toothache with no apparent reason
- Tooth sensitivity, especially while having anything hot, cold, or sweet
- White or dark spots on a tooth
- Holes or pits in a tooth
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
Doing the right things can go a long way in preventing tooth decay. The main steps you should take include:
- Getting routine dental checkups at least every six months to rule out dental issues, get a professional dental cleaning, and avoid plaque buildup.
- Increasing your fluoride intake. This can mean using a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash, drinking tap water each day, or getting topical fluoride treatments to remineralize the tooth enamel.
- Thoroughly and regularly cleaning your teeth. Brush in the morning, before going to sleep, and, ideally, after meals. Regular flossing or using interdental cleaners will also help eliminate bacteria your toothbrush cannot.
- Reducing the intake of foods and drinks that are high in sugar. These tend to stick to the surface of the teeth and increase plaque buildup.
- Cutting back on snacking through the day. Constant contact with food keeps your teeth under perpetual attack.
- Getting dental sealants on the back teeth, especially for children. Sealants act as a shield against tooth decay.
- Chewing xylitol gum.
To learn more about preventing tooth decay and treating it, contact Woodruff Family Dental at (870) 972-8190 or visit our dental clinic at 2800 Enterprise Cv, Jonesboro, AR, 72401.