The question of how to prevent tooth decay naturally pops up every time you encounter tooth pain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 16.9 percent of children and 31.6 percent of adults have untreated cavities from tooth decay. There are things you can do to help prevent decay, so there won’t be any cavities during your next appointment with us at Lovett Dental Gulfgate.
What Is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is the breaking down of a tooth due to bacteria that live in the mouth. It’s something the Lovett Dental Gulfgate general dentist will look for each time you go for a check-up.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
The key to preventing tooth decay is taking extra steps to ensure your mouth is clean. Food, especially the starchy and sugary kinds, sits in the mouth and feed bacteria. As they digest the food particles, the bacteria release an acid capable of breaking down enamel and, eventually, the tooth’s interior called dentin.
Plaque forms on teeth and combines with new food particles, acid, and salvia to dissolve the tooth’s surface. Once that protective layer is gone, the acid begins on the inside pulp.
Oral Hygiene Tips
One of the first lessons you learn at Lovett Dental Gulfgate is how to prevent tooth decay naturally. It starts with good oral hygiene like brushing and flossing. Ideally, you will clean your teeth thirty minutes after you eat. Also, it is ideal to brush twice a day.
As part of preventing tooth decay, the dental hygienist can show you the right and wrong way to brush, as well. The American Dental Association recommends that you use a soft-bristled brush and replace it every couple of months.
The technique for brushing includes:
- Put fluoride toothpaste on your toothbrush.
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Move the brush back and forth gently using short strokes that cover each tooth.
- Cover the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of the teeth with the brush.
- When brushing the inner surfaces, turn the brush so you are moving it up and down instead of back and forth.
Flossing is an integral part of good oral hygiene and preventing tooth decay, too. To floss correctly, use around eighteen inches of floss. Hold the floss between your thumb and forefinger, and then slide it between your teeth gently. You should floss once a day.
Afterward, rinse your mouth out with an ADA-approved mouthwash that contains fluoride. Mouthwash has an antiseptic property that helps to eliminate any bacteria left in the mouth.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay Naturally
The best method to prevent tooth decay naturally is diet. The foods you eat have an impact on your oral health. Stay away from sugary sweets and limit snacks like chips and pretzels. These food contain sugars that stay on teeth and feed bacteria.
If you do eat candy or a starchy snack, brush your teeth afterward. Brushing will remove the sugars and reduce your risk.
How Can Lovett Dental Gulfgate Help with Tooth Decay Prevention?
Regular dental exams with our general dentists at Lovett Dental Gulfgate about every six months gives us a way to see if the techniques you are using at home are effective. It also means you can add dental treatments to your tooth decay prevention strategy. For example, Lovett Dental Gulfgate offers fluoride treatments and sealants that help protect your teeth from decay. A professional teeth cleaning removes tarter that increases your risks of cavities, too.
The staff at Lovett Dental Gulfgate can do x-rays that allow them to identify decay early. They can pinpoint problem areas and fill cavities so decay doesn’t get too deep.
Other services offered at Lovett Dental Gulfgate include:
Prevent Tooth Decay with Lovett Dental Gulfgate
If you have questions about tooth decay or want to make an appointment for a check-up, give our office a call at 713-847-8822 or complete our online form. Our team can help you prevent tooth decay and give you the smile you’ve always wanted.