Cavities and tooth decay are a common problem, but good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist can help you prevent tooth decay and keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you follow these tips, you will keep your teeth in their best shape possible:
Brush at Least Twice a Day
Brush your teeth for around 2 minutes each time, twice a day, with fluoride toothpaste. Try to ensure that all of the surfaces of the teeth are brushed, including the teeth in the very back. Use a gentle circular motion, as brushing too hard can damage the tooth surfaces and gums.
Brushing helps to stop plaque from building up on the teeth, as plaque is the number-one cause of tooth decay. Plaque is a sticky, often colorless deposit that develops on the surface of teeth. It is made up of bacteria, food particles, and saliva, and it can weaken tooth enamel by allowing acid-producing bacteria to attach to the teeth. Over time, this can lead to cavities and decay.
Floss Between Teeth Every Day
Floss, or use an interdental cleaner, at least once a day to remove food or plaque that may be stuck between teeth. Flossing should be carried out in a firm but gentle way to avoid damaging the teeth and gums.
As you floss, use up and down motions while hugging the side of each tooth. Go all the way to the gumline. Gums may be tender and bleed initially, but with regular flossing, bleeding should stop as the gums become healthier.
Mouthwash does not substitute for brushing and flossing, but it can help clean those hard-to-reach areas in the mouth that may get missed by brushing and flossing. Mouthwash can also help to reduce the amount of acid in the mouth and even re-mineralize the teeth.
Cut Down on Sugar
Consuming sugar can lead to tooth decay, because tiny sugar particles in the teeth attract bacteria which form erosive acid in the mouth. Sugar isn’t just found in candy and desserts; many processed foods also contain added sugar.
Fruit juices and smoothies can have high levels of natural sugar, which can also damage teeth. It is best to drink water after consuming any sugary food or drink in order to dilute and wash away the sugar in the teeth.
Have Regular Dental Visits
Regular oral exams can ensure that any problems in the mouth, such as signs of decay, are detected and treated early. During a routine dental examination, your teeth will be cleaned to remove any residual plaque or hardened tartar. The dentist then checks your teeth for any visual signs of cavities, gum disease, and any other oral health issues or abnormalities. X-rays may also be taken of your teeth, gums, and bones to provide added information about their structure and health.
Dental experts recommend seeing a dentist every six months to help prevent cavities and tooth decay. For adults who are at a high risk of oral health problems, you should have a dental checkup every three or four months.
Complete Dental Care in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
If you are looking for a trusted family dentist in the Twin Cities, visit us at Hagerman Dental Care. We offer comprehensive dental services including general dentistry and state-of-the-art preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry at one convenient location in St. Paul.
For more information about the services we provide or to make an appointment, call us today at (651) 646-2392 or fill out our online form to request an appointment now. We look forward to being your dental healthcare partner!