8 Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
The most common dental diseases are tooth decay and gum disease. This is true for both children and adults, but these diseases are also among the most easily treated. Tooth decay begins with the erosion of tooth enamel, which eventually leads to cavities—holes in your teeth. Untreated cavities will worsen over time until the entire tooth is undermined. Untreated cavities can also lead to infections, which can reach your root canals, gums, and even jawbone. Tooth decay and gum disease can eventually lead to tooth and even bone loss. But, as mentioned, prevention is rather simple.
Eight Techniques to Avoid Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
- Brush twice daily. It is simple advice that you have been receiving since childhood, but it can be easy to overlook when you are tired or in a hurry. Brush your teeth in the morning and again before you go to bed. This will help remove the plaque that accumulates and leads to gum disease and tooth decay.
- Opt for fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent tooth decay.
- Brush your tongue. Not brushing your tongue when brushing your teeth is a common mistake. The bad bacteria that attacks your teeth accumulates on your tongue as well. You may want to purchase a tongue scraper if you experience visible buildup or just want to feel extra clean.
- Floss every day. Your toothbrush cannot get into crevices and between teeth the way floss can. Plaque accumulates between the teeth and along the gumline. Flossing helps remove those buildups.
- Limit your sugar intake, or eliminate it altogether. Foods with sugars and starches encourage a chemical reaction in the mouth that can lead to tooth decay. When the bacteria in your saliva reacts with sugar, it becomes an acid that erodes tooth enamel—the protective layer of your teeth.
- Rinse with mouthwash. Enhance your oral hygiene and your breath by rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Be vigilant. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are all opportunities to inspect your teeth and gums. If you notice blood or what appears to be gum inflammation, contact your dentist. Likewise, do not ignore any discomfort at all related to your teeth, gums, jaw, and other parts of your mouth.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year. If you already have periodontal disease, your dentist may recommend a more frequent schedule. A biannual cleaning is essential for removing the plaque and perhaps tartar that you cannot reach through brushing and flossing alone. Your teeth may look great and feel great, but there can still be underlying issues that your dentist can identify and treat.
Achieve Better Oral Health
Visiting your local dentist at least twice a year is imperative to great oral health. Scottsdale Dental Excellence is a leading dental office in the region and offers all of the preventative dental care you require. Jeffrey D. Clark, DDS, and his entire team look forward to helping you preserve your smile. Call us today at 480 585 1853 with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment.