You would think it would be an easy thing to do. And, really, it is if you follow the tips we give you below. Remember, for children, this is the leading problem for them. Good oral hygiene habits, learned young, will pay off in fewer trips to the dentist’s office and a much healthier life.
Here are a few of the things we can all do in order to prevent tooth decay:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Preferably, brush after each meal and especially before going to bed.
- Clean between your teeth daily with dental floss or interdental cleaners, such as the Oral-B Interdental Brush, Reach Stim-U-Dent, or Sulcabrush.
- Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit snacks. Avoid carbohydrates such as candy, pretzels and chips, which can remain on the tooth surface. If sticky foods are eaten, brush your teeth soon afterwards.
- Check with your dentist about use of supplemental fluoride, which strengthens your teeth.
- Ask your dentist about dental sealants (a plastic protective coating) applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth (molars) to protect them from decay.
- Drink fluoridated water. At least a pint of fluoridated water each day is needed to protect children from tooth decay.
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exam.
According to the American Dental Association, the use of a good mouth wash containing fluoride is also recommended.
In addition, one study found that a chewing gum that contains the sweetener xylitol temporarily retarded the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay.
And the battle against tooth decay continues with some interesting and promising research:
In addition, several materials that slowly release fluoride over time, which will help prevent further decay, are being explored. These materials would be placed between teeth or in pits and fissures of teeth. Toothpastes and mouth rinses that can reverse and “heal” early cavities are also being studied.
As you can see, preventing tooth decay is something we can all do. It isn’t really as difficult as it sounds and, with the establishment of the good habits recommended above, can actually be a breeze.
If you have any questions concerning preventing tooth decay, drop us a line or give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.