How to Prevent Tooth Decay
The old saying “prevention is better than a cure” is particularly true when it comes to your general health, including the health of your teeth. Preventing tooth decay is a far better option than spending hours in the dentist’s chair getting teeth filled due to lack of preventative care.
Preventative dentistry as a way of avoiding tooth decay is common practice these days and its aim is to keep your mouth healthy which means you will have less need for lengthy and costly dental treatment in the long term.
Isn’t Regular Brushing and Flossing at Home Enough?
Typically, many people think that regular brushing and flossing at home constitutes enough prevention. These activities certainly help but there are many places that are easy to miss when these routine activities are taking place, such as below the gum line, inside the fine ridges on surfaces and in between your teeth. This is why routine dental checkups and cleanings are crucial for the prevention of tooth decay.
If you are determined to avoid tooth decay, then you should work closely with your dentist in order to work out the best preventative treatment options. You may already have lost some of your teeth. However many teeth you have left, further tooth decay and tooth loss are preventable.
When you attend an appointment with your dentist, treatment might be necessary at first before a preventative programme can commence. This is so that your teeth and mouth are healthy which will prevent the onset of tooth decay later. Your dentist will ensure that all of your fillings are in good condition. If there are any noticeable cracks or weaknesses in the teeth, then they may require strengthening. Your dentist may also wish to deep clean, scale or root plane as this eliminates all the plaque and cleans up the roots too. It is the presence of plaque that could lead to tooth decay.
Brushing, Flossing and Diet
Once your teeth are in good order your dentist will demonstrate correct brushing and flossing techniques. He or she will also advise you on your diet as it is what you put in your mouth that determines the long term health of your teeth. Modifying your diet will help to stop tooth decay and food such as vegetables, cheese, fruit and nuts are much better for your teeth. Sugary food such as soft drinks, biscuits and confectionary are more likely to encourage tooth decay. Alcoholic drinks have high sugar content too, so these should be consumed with that in mind. Smoking does not so much cause tooth decay itself, but it can cause gum disease.
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