When it comes to oral health issues, cavities and tooth decay are by far the most common. While common, tooth decay is also one of the more treatable issues, as it mostly comes down to a lack of oral hygiene. Fortunately, with the right practices and information, preventing tooth decay can be quite simple. From brushing regularly to visiting your La Mesa dentist twice a year, there’s plenty you can do to keep your teeth healthy, however, it all starts at home.
While Dr. Hagstrom can assess your oral health and ensure your teeth get a thorough cleaning in our office, every patient should maintain proper oral hygiene in their own time at home. Dr. Hagstrom and his helpful team at A Shop for Smiles are committed to keeping patients’ teeth healthy, which is why we’ve laid out a list of tips and practices for preventing tooth decay. First, let’s take a closer look at tooth decay.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay, which we all know as cavities, is a common occurrence within many dental patients. Though common, tooth decay can lead to more serious oral issues, whether that be toothaches or actually losing the decaying tooth. Tooth decay occurs when the bacteria that’s constantly residing in your mouth combines with plaque to form harmful acids. These acids attack the enamel of your teeth, which protects your teeth from decay. Once the enamel begins to erode, your teeth will become more prone to cavities. As decay worsens, the damage will work its way past the enamel and start to affect the deeper layers of your teeth, ultimately damaging the tooth’s pulp. Take a look at the list below to get an idea of what causes tooth decay:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Deep tooth crevices
- Poor nutrition
- Acidic foods and drinks (citrus fruits and sports drinks)
Between avoiding the factors listed above and maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, you can surely prevent tooth decay, but there’s plenty more to it.
5 Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay
In essence, avoiding the many causes of tooth decay is obviously good practice for preventing such. However, you can make subtle changes in your diet and daily routine to ensure your teeth stay free of cavities and decay. Take a look below for key ways to prevent tooth decay and the many complications that can follow:
- Brush at least twice a day, especially after meals.
- Floss once a day, preferably before going to bed at night.
- Avoid foods like chips, candy, and anything else high in carbs—at least eat them in moderation.
- Keep your mouth hydrated, as saliva production helps maintain tooth enamel.
- Visit your dentist twice a year for checkups and professional cleanings.
Prevent Tooth Decay with A Shop for Smiles!
As you can see, while tooth decay is a common issue, it can easily be prevented with the right practices. By eating right and properly caring for your teeth, you’ll not only avoid tooth decay but you’ll save time and money by avoiding the need for treatment like fillings and root canals.
If you’ve noticed tooth pain, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Hagstrom. Regardless, if you’d like to schedule an appointment with us, contact us here or give our La Mesa office a call at 619-465-5252.