How to Prevent Tooth Decay

Posted on: Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

We all know that brushing your teeth is an important component of preventing tooth decay, but it is far from the only oral care responsibility you have. The truth is, preventing tooth decay requires a comprehensive approach of eating the right foods, cleaning your mouth thoroughly, and visiting your dentist regularly. If you are careful to maintain all three elements of this recipe for a healthy mouth, you are far more likely to enjoy strong, white, beautiful teeth for the rest of your life.

Understand The Real Threat of Tooth Decay

According to the American Dental Association, tooth decay is the destruction of the hard, outer layer of your teeth called enamel. Children, teens, and adults alike face the threat of tooth decay from a sticky film of bacteria called plaque that forms on the mouth each day. Cavities form if that plaque isn’t properly removed, and other issues like gum recession can accelerate decay and cause other significant issues like gum disease. If tooth decay goes untreated for a long period of time, it can destroy the mouth, cause teeth to fall out, and generate chronic oral pain.

You Are What You Eat

Fortunately, there are many easy- and delicious!- ways to discourage the formation of plaque and continue to support the health of your teeth. As dangerous as sugary foods are for your teeth, nutrient-dense foods are equally as beneficial.

  • Dairy Products: Cheese, milk, and other dairy products promote excellent oral health because they balance dental pH, fight the accumulation of plaque, and help remineralize enamel thanks to high calcium content.
  • Apples and Almonds: Healthy crunchy foods (not potato chips!) like apples and almonds stimulate extra saliva production in the mouth. This is very important since saliva cleans your teeth in between brushing and flossing. The more saliva working through your mouth, the less plaque can build up.
  • Sugar-Free Gum with Xylitol: Xylitol, a natural sugar substitute, is actually a very effective cavity fighter! It is a favorite natural oral care tool for holistic health advocates because it stops the acid that is necessary for bacteria to grow.

Brushing, Flossing, and Other Home Care Techniques

Brushing twice a day with an electric toothbrush for two minutes will always be the cornerstone of at-home oral care, but don’t forget about the other components like flossing, oil pulling, and tongue-scraping. Working each of those techniques into your routine at least once each day will make an enormous difference in your ability to slow, stop, and prevent tooth decay. Bacteria lurks in every nook and cranny of your mouth, so it takes a wide range of strategies to eliminate it all!

Of course, no oral care routine is complete without a visit to a holistic dentist. At Natural and Cosmetic Dentistry in Clearwater, Florida, Dr. Beata Carlson and Dr. Amber Gilton will closely evaluate the health of your mouth, your lifestyle habits, and your diet choices to determine the best plan to slow and stop your tooth decay. Dr. Beata and Dr. Gilton are dedicated to offering their patients gentle and minimally invasive holistic treatments, so call (727) 888-6523 today to make your appointment!

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