Tooth decay is the process by which plaque sticks to the teeth and gradually dissolves your tooth enamel, creating holes in the teeth called cavities.
Along with symptoms such as bad breath, toothache and sensitivity, if left untreated, decaying of the teeth can lead to problems such as gum disease and dental abscesses, which in turn may lead to the teeth needing to be extracted altogether.
In order to prevent your oral health from deteriorating in this way, the team at High Street Dental Practice have provided these top tips to battle tooth decay and keep your dental hygiene at its best:
One of the main contributors to tooth decay is the food you eat. Carbohydrates contain sugar and starches which are broken down by bacteria which live in the mouth. Through this process, bacteria turn your food into acids which combine with food debris and saliva to form plaque. When plaque sticks to the teeth, if it is not removed in a timely manner through regular brushing and flossing, then it breaks down your tooth enamel, causing cavities.
In order to improve oral hygiene and prevent this process, it is vital to eat nutritious, balanced meals and avoid snacking as much as possible. By avoiding foods such as breads, cereals, fizzy drinks, cakes, and sweets, this will actually reduce the amount of plaque that forms in your mouth and substantially reduce your overall risk of tooth decay.
Brushing and flossing
Have you ever wondered why dentists repeatedly tell you to brush twice a day? It is because brushing is actually one of the best methods of preventing dental issues such as tooth decay. By using a fluoride toothpaste, this is particularly effective in protecting your teeth against plaque, because fluoride protects enamel from acid and prevents the formation of cavities.
Flossing, or using an interdental cleaner, also reaches gaps in your teeth where regular brushing can’t, ensuring the reduction of plaque build-up between teeth too.
Cut out smoking and alcohol
Another well-known contributor to tooth decay is smoking. Saliva is your body’s way of naturally cleaning your teeth, but the presence of tobacco is well known to interfere with saliva production. When saliva is reduced, plaque forms more easily, leading to tooth decay more quickly. So if you are a smoker, consider cutting out cigarettes and cigars to restore your saliva levels to be better able to clean the mouth.
Drinking alcohol can also be an issue, due to the amount of sugar in alcoholic beverages. The sugar in alcohol speeds up tooth decay by eroding the enamel’s surface, so will increase the probability of cavities forming. By cutting down on the amount of alcohol you consume, your teeth’s enamel will be slower to erode, delaying tooth decay.
Regular dentist visits
It is vital to visit your dentist regularly in order to keep tooth decay at bay. Dentists provide expert oral examinations and make sure you are provided with the right treatment to improve your oral hygiene long-term. Here at Springside/High Street Dental, our dental hygienists can offer a professional clean to tackle any plaque that is already building, reducing the probability of tooth decay.
If your dental routine is suffering or you think your teeth may be in need of repair, let the team at High Street Dental Practice help you beat your tooth decay and book an appointment with us today on 01684 293091.Previous