Many of the foods we eat contain sugars, carbohydrates, and other substances that are hazardous to our teeth. Natural bacteria that is present in the mouth are attracted to these residues, and when the bacteria feeds on this residue, acid is produced as a result. Sometimes even after brushing, the acid remains on the teeth, and begins to wear away at the enamel on the teeth.
So what can be done to combat this vicious cycle? How can you prevent tooth decay? Some standard rules apply here, many of which dental professionals have been promoting for years as the most effective ways to prevent this common problem. Some of these tips include:
•Brushing at least twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
•Daily flossing is essential, as it helps to remove plaque and food particles that have become caught between the teeth.
•Eat well-balanced, nutritionally-sound meals, and keep snacking to a minimum. Regular snacks encourage food particles and acids to remain on the teeth, which can actually make the problem much worse.
•Schedule a visit to the dentist at least twice a year, so that teeth can be professionally cleaned and inspected.
•While at the dentist’s office, ask about dental sealants, which form a thin barrier on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Sealants can go a long way in the prevention of decay, particularly in the back teeth, where decay is the most common.
Good communication is also key to a good relationship with your dental professional. Share your concerns about your teeth, and ask how you can improve your dental hygiene. Good oral health care now is essential for maintaining teeth later in life. Since many health problems such as heart disease, and hardening of the arteries are directly related to plaque on the teeth, it is imperative to develop and maintain a comprehensive oral health care plan.