Tooth decay. It’s more common than you might think. According to the American Dental Association, tooth decay will affect around 50% of all children and 90% of adults in the United States. Tooth decay can lead to extensive and expensive problems with your oral health including major cavities and infections.
But you may not even realize if you are suffering from tooth decay! The most common symptoms of tooth decay (including toothaches and other pain) do not appear until the decay has begun to advance. At that point you may already need restorative dental work.
Although tooth decay is common, it can be prevented in many cases. Everyone knows to brush and floss, but what else can you do? At the Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX, we’re committed to helping all of our patients have a healthy smile that they love. So in today’s post of our dental health blog, we’re going to give you four easy ways to prevent tooth decay.
#1. Managing Your Diet
Certain foods and drinks increase the likelihood of tooth decay. As an example, soda tends to be extremely acidic (even the diet varieties). The acidic nature of soda can weaken your enamel and make you more likely to suffer from tooth decay. Sugary and starchy foods (such as white bread) attract plaque and other decay-causing bacteria.
Drinking water is one of the best ways to prevent tooth decay. The water rinses bacteria off your teeth lowering your risk for tooth decay. Eating foods which are high in fiber can also help prevent tooth decay. High fiber foods help your mouth produce saliva which also helps to wash away decay causing bacteria.
#2. Undergoing Regular Dental Exams and Cleanings
During a routine dental appointment, you will undergo a dental exam and a dental cleaning. During a dental exam, your dentist will physically inspect your teeth and take oral X-rays. These tools help us detect an early signs of decay in your teeth. This can prevent a minor problem such as a small cavity from turning into a larger problem like an infection.
During a dental cleaning your dental hygienist will use ultrasonic tools to carefully remove plaque and dental tartar from your teeth. This can help reverse the early stages of gum disease and prevent tooth decay. No matter how well you brush and floss, it can be impossible to remove all plaque and tartar on your own. That’s why you need a professional cleaning!
#3. Having a Dental Sealant Placed
A dental sealant is one of the best ways to prevent the development of cavities and tooth decay. A dental sealant is a protective coating which we place over the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. Oral bacteria such as plaque is drawn to the pits and grooves of your back teeth; a dental sealant helps prevent this bacteria from doing serious damage.
Having a dental sealant placed is a quick and pain-free procedure. We often recommend dental sealants for children as they are developing their adult teeth, but patients of all ages may be able to benefit from a dental sealant. Once placed, a dental sealant can last for years with proper care and diet.
#4. Undergoing a Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride treatments are another excellent weapon in the war against tooth decay. Fluoride is a natural mineral often used in cavity-preventing toothpastes. Fluoride helps to not only prevent decay and gum disease, it also strengthens your teeth as well by hardening your enamel. During a fluoride treatment we simply apply a concentrated fluoride solution to your teeth. It’s quick, pain-free, and easy.
Make An Appointment
When was the last time you visited your dentist? If it’s been more than six months, you may be at risk for tooth decay. So give our office a call today! Our dedicated staff can help you prevent the expensive problems caused by tooth decay all while helping your smile look great. You can reach our office at 713-364-8990.