A beautiful smile is essential to your overall health, personality, and self-esteem. But even though you know it’s critical to brush your teeth twice a day; it’s an easy task to forget. If you fail to take care of your teeth, decay can start to eat away at your tooth surfaces. When that happens, you may get cavities and encounter other problems.
Thankfully, you can take steps to prevent cavities and the like. Here are the top six practices to help prevent dental decay.
- Use Fluoride Treatments and Sealants
Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens the enamel that covers your teeth. Fluoride treatments aren’t just for children; adult teeth can also benefit from them.
When experiencing dental decay, you may need professional apply fluoride treatments. They are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of molars, premolars, and incisors. Getting fluoride can protect your teeth against further damage.
Your dentist will tell you if these treatments and sealants are right for you and your family. If they are, you can devise a plan for how often you should get fluoride treatments. Of course, this will depend on how your mouth and teeth respond, so stay in communication with your dentist.
- Keep Toothbrushes Clean
It would help if you kept your toothbrush clean. Bacteria grows rapidly on damp toothbrushes. The growth of bacteria can happen in as little as four hours if you don’t rinse it off after use!
Make sure to replace your toothbrush at least every three months. If you’re using a regular brush, rinse it with water in the dish. Then, let it dry completely before placing it in the bathroom cabinet. Also, keep your toothbrush bristles free of food contamination before and after use.
- Brush and Floss Your Teeth Twice Daily
The American Dental Association recommends applying a proper brushing and flossing routine. Your brushing habits should include two minutes for each quadrant of your mouth. For example, first, brush the tongue and the gum line. Then, move to the top front teeth, brush the back of the mouth, and then your bottom teeth.
Plaque can build up over time in your mouth, leading to tooth decay. Flossing helps remove plaque bacteria from between teeth. So, it’s crucial to stay on top of dental care by brushing and flossing as recommended.
- Visit Your Dentist for Regular Dental Checkups
Regular dental checkups allow your dentist to examine your teeth and gums. If there are any signs of decay, a dentist can repair it with a filling. Or, they can do another treatment on the spot. You’ll have better oral hygiene when your dentist checks your teeth more often.
There are other conditions your dentist can help with as well. For example, TMJ disorder can contribute to dental decay. So, if you constantly clench your teeth, this may be a concern. Getting TMJ relief will help prevent cavities from developing.
- Limit Sugary Foods and Drink
Sugary food and drinks are the primary sources of bacteria that damage teeth. That’s why you should brush your teeth immediately after consuming food with sugar. Brushing helps you combat the effects of decay by washing away excess sugars.
Foods rich in sugar include juices, soda, candy, and syrups. Avoiding soda is essential to your dental health. Soda and juice products contain natural acids that can eat away tooth enamel. To help build strong teeth and gums, try drinking fruit juices with a straw instead of the usual ways. This prevents the acid from coming in contact with your teeth.
Plus, drink water instead of savoring sugary foods and drinks. Water may not be that flavorful, but it washes away food and sugars. Drinking water is much better than dealing with cavities and other mouth issues.
- Drink Fluoridated Water
Drinking fluoride-rich water is an excellent way to reduce tooth decay. It increases the effectiveness of natural fluoride in your teeth. You may have some questions about the tap water in your area. If so, talk to your dentist. They can recommend whether you should use a fluoride treatment at home.
Follow these six tips to prevent dental decay and maintain a healthy smile. Taking time out of your day to do proper oral hygiene will help keep you cavity-free.
If you experience dental pain or other issues with your teeth, always seek care from a dentist. This is critical so that you don’t have any worsening conditions. With proper care, your mouth and smile will be healthy for years!