Tooth decay refers to the destruction of your teeth and can have a profound effect on both the dentin layer of the teeth as well as the enamel, which is the outermost coating on the teeth.
Tooth decay happens when certain foods that contain a high amount of carbohydrates (sugars and/or starches) including bread, soda, milk, cereal, candy, and other sugary desserts are left sitting on the teeth to decay. Bacteria that resides in your mouth works to digest these foods and eventually turns them into acid. In time, the bacteria, food debris, saliva, and acid all work together to develop plaque that clings to the surface of your teeth. These destructive acids ultimately dissolve tooth enamel, thereby creating small holes in the teeth known as cavities.
You can help fight and prevent tooth decay by following these simple tips:
Brush Your Teeth Regularly
Make it your goal to brush your teeth for two full minutes at least twice per day using fluoride-rich toothpaste. Take it a step further by brushing your teeth after every snack and meal for best results. If you are not able to brush every time you eat, at least rinse out your mouth with water.
Drink Plenty of Water
Most cities add fluoride to their water supply, which makes it effective in preventing tooth decay. Tap water greatly helps re-mineralize teeth, while drinking water overall helps promote the production of saliva to help wash away harmful bacteria in the mouth. If you only drink bottled water, try to add a bit of tap water to help keep your teeth healthy.
To further protect your teeth, use mouthwash with fluoride after every time you brush and in between if necessary.
Visit Your Dentist on a Routine Basis
Regular oral exams and professional tooth cleanings should be a regular part of your primary dental care and done at least twice a year. If you are more susceptible to dental problems or require more attention, you’ll likely need to visit your dentist more than every six months.
Eat a Variety of Nutrient-Rich Foods for Healthy Teeth
In reality, some foods are good for teeth. Similar to a heart-healthy diet that diminishes the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular problems, some foods have the natural ability to protect your beautiful smile. Some of these foods include fresh fruits, cheese, and sugar-free foods in general. Each of these contains specific properties that enhance the overall health of your teeth.
Consider Implementing Dental Sealants
Talk to your dentist about getting dental sealants. These work to seal off any nooks, crannies, and grooves where food can easily get trapped and cause tooth decay. Sealants can effectively help prevent potential tooth decay along with other specific dental issues and can last as long as ten years in some cases.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Jamie Sands
In Studio City, Dr. Jamie Elizabeth Sands, D.D.S. is an expert in oral health and has developed Oral Anti-Aging to help her patients maintain healthy teeth and gums. Doctor Jamie Sands will work with you to recommend treatment options based on your oral health needs. Contact Dr. Jamie Sands today to schedule a consultation.