20 Sep 6 Ways to Help Prevent Tooth Decay
Words like “tooth decay” and “cavities” are not what you want to hear during your visit to the dental office. Fortunately, GPA Dental has a few simple strategies you can adopt to keep your pearly whites healthy.
1. Brush Twice Daily
Brushing your teeth twice a day gently and thoroughly with a soft bristle toothbrush for two minutes will greatly reduce the risk of tooth decay. It is important to focus on brushing the biting surface of the teeth, and in the sulcus (where the teeth and gums meet). Angle the toothbrush 45 degrees towards the sulcus, gently vibrate the toothbrush horizontally, and then roll out. Use very light pressure to avoid causing damage, since the goal of brushing is to remove plaque, which is soft bacteria.
2. Be Sure to Floss
Brushing alone cannot remove plaque in between teeth, so make sure you fl oss once daily in conjunction with brushing. Not only does flossing prevent tooth decay, it also helps keep gum disease at bay. Grab about 30 to 45 centimetres of dental floss and wrap it around each middle finger so that you have a working area of two to three centimetres. Pass it between each tooth, reach below the gum line, and move up and down, hugging the tooth. The working area should be clean when passed between each contact. If there is bleeding, which could be a sign of gingivitis, consult your dentist.
3. Watch What You Eat
Limit how often you consume sugary foods. When you do consume them, aim to brush an hour after eating. If you are unable to do so, try rinsing your mouth out with water instead.
4. Get Some Fluoride
Fluoride is a mineral that can help strengthen teeth and potentially remineralise or arrest dental decay if caught early. Aside from consuming it through various fruits and vegetables, you can also use fluoridated toothpaste or drink tap water.
5. Consider Getting Dental Sealants
If you have especially deep grooves on the biting surface of your teeth, your dentist may recommend sealants, which is a type of protective coating to make the grooves shallower. This allows for easier cleansability.
6. Visit the Dentist Regulary
Make it a point to visit your dentist twice a year to get an overall oral health checkup, and to remove any plaque or tartar (hard bacteria) that you might have missed.