Tooth decay is a primary cause of dental problems. And these dental issues can get serious. So how do you prevent tooth decay before it impacts your smile? Reston, VA dentist, Dr. Datta Malyavantham of Ridgetop Dental, has some helpful tips.
1. Brush and Floss Regularly
The most important thing you can do to prevent tooth decay is to make sure you brush and floss at least twice a day. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste is especially beneficial. Fluoride helps strengthen your teeth and helps prevent the enamel from breaking down. If possible, brush your teeth after every meal — and especially before you go to bed.
Flossing is equally important. It helps get into the tight gaps between your teeth that a toothbrush may not be able to access. Though you might not think much can get into these crevices, you’ll be surprised at how many food particles get trapped there.
2. Eat the Right Foods
Certain foods are much better for your teeth than others. For instance, a diet high in sugar is going to have a bad effect on your teeth. Bacteria in the mouth feed off of sugar. These bacteria produce acid that eats through the enamel on your teeth, leading to tooth decay.
Any kind of sticky food can get stuck in and between your teeth. If you do eat sticky food, try to brush your teeth and floss afterward. In addition, things like chips and crackers have starches that convert to sugars. These foods also tend to linger on the surface of your teeth.
On the flip side, foods high in calcium and phosphorus can help strengthen your teeth. Things like cheese, almonds, eggs, and fish contain these vitamins and minerals. Sugar-free gum is also surprisingly beneficial. It helps get out particles between the teeth if you don’t have floss on hand. It also increases saliva production, which helps prevent those acids from destroying your enamel.
3. Try Mouthwash
A rinse with a mouthwash that has fluoride gives you an extra step of protection. There are also many types of mouthwash out there that also help kill bacteria. This keeps those bacteria from collecting and forming plaque on your teeth. Swishing mouthwash around can also help get out any particles of food that are stuck in your teeth or mouth.
4. Go to the Dentist Twice a Year
Visiting the dentist regularly is a great way to keep on top of tooth decay. They can do a professional cleaning of your teeth, going above and beyond what you’re capable of doing at home.
They also give you a thorough oral exam. Your dentist in Reston, Virginia will examine all areas of your mouth and teeth to analyze their health. If there’s an issue with tooth decay, they can catch it early and help you with preventative measures before it gets worse.
5. Ask About Extra Fluoride
If you don’t think you’re getting enough fluoride in your water and dental products, ask the dentist about supplemental fluoride. They can provide it to you during your dental exams.
6. Use the Right Toothbrush
You may notice that toothbrushes normally come in different bristle textures. Make sure you’re using a soft-bristled brush. Firmer bristles can do more harm to your teeth and gums than good.
You also want to make sure that you replace your toothbrush as frequently as you should. Getting a new toothbrush every three to four months ensures that it’s working properly and still cleaning your teeth the way it should be.
Schedule an Appointment at Ridgetop Dental
Make sure you’re doing everything you can to prevent tooth decay. Call us today or schedule an appointment online!