The Tooth Decay Process: How To Reverse It And Avoid Cavities
No-one likes it, but we’re all used to it. Tooth decay and cavities can be avoided, yet most of us have experienced many painful trips to the dentist. Root fillings, tooth crowns, composite veneers – they’re no fun for anyone! If you want to keep your smile looking great for years to come, take care of your teeth before any problems arise. Here are five ways to reverse the tooth decay process.
Brush Twice Daily
Some of us are better at it than others, but we should all be brushing our teeth at least twice a day with good technique for 2 minutes. You know when you’ve crashed somewhere after a party, and your mouth is yuck and you scrape fuzzy stuff off your teeth? That’s plaque.
Plaque is the soft, sticky, bacteria-laden film that builds up on your exposed enamel. When left alone for too long, plaque can harden into tartar, which in turn can lead to gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Plaque can also cause tooth decay and – just as terrifying – bad breath.
Brushing your teeth regularly will remove plaque, leaving your mouth healthy and smelling fresh. Use a soft bristled toothbrush and brush in a gentle, circular motion.
Floss is an interdental cleaner, designed to clean the tight, hard to reach spaces in between your teeth. It may seem pedantic, but it’s really not. Brushing removes plaque from most of the surfaces of your teeth, but flossing removes plaque and food particles that are lodged in the parts the tooth brush doesn't reach.
Floss at least once a day.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A no brainer, right? What you eat affects your oral health. We all know that sugar causes tooth decay, but which foods are good for our teeth? Whole grains, fruits at main meal times, vegetables, lean sources of protein such as lean beef and legumes, and low fat and fat-free dairy foods are your friends.
But it’s not just what you eat – it’s how you eat it. Foods that are eaten as part of a meal do less harm to your teeth, as more saliva is produced during longer eating sessions. Saliva helps wash down food and lessens the effect of acids in food. If it’s not realistic for you to quit snacking, reach for something crunchy and fresh, like a stalk of celery!
Drink Plenty of Water
Did you know that saliva is 99% water? Having low levels of saliva causes a dry mouth, which leads to bad breath and all sorts of dental issues. As mentioned above, saliva washes down food and protects your teeth during meals. In fact, saliva is your mouth’s first defense against mouth decay.
Visit Your Dentist Twice a Year (Or More)
We recommend you visit a dentist twice a year for a regular check-up. If you are a smoker, pregnant or currently have a gum disease or are prone to mouth infections, you should make an appointment with your local dentist every 3-4 months. It’s cheaper to prevent tooth decay and cavities than it is to fix them, so be proactive and look out for your oral health!