Preventing tooth decay will go a long way in preserving a healthy smile. In the most severe cases of tooth decay, patients may lose teeth and need to undergo an oral surgery procedure, such as tooth extraction or dental implant placement to restore the smile. Tooth loss is also typically followed by jawbone atrophy, and the patient may consider oral surgery to replace missing bone if bone loss is significant.
So, if you’re not thrilled about the hypothetical prospect of oral surgery, you’ll want to take steps to reduce your risk of tooth decay, which fortunately is a preventable condition. Here are some tips to follow that will make it less likely that cavities will develop.
- Brush your teeth twice each day and floss daily. The foundation of a cavity-free smile starts at home. When you brush two times a day, you’ll disrupt plaque formation, which will reduce the quantity of oral bacteria that cause decay. Flossing along the gumline helps to remove plaque from this area, where it can easily harden into calculus (tartar), which cannot be removed with a toothbrush alone.
- Pay attention to technique. It’s not enough to merely go through the motions of brushing and flossing. You must use proper technique. For example, you can remove plaque more effectively along the gumline if you angle your toothbrush while brushing. And don’t brush too hard, either. That can weaken your enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to cavities.
- Limit your intake of candies and acidic drinks, such as sodas: When you consume a lot of sugar, the residue left behind provides a rich nutritional source for the oral bacteria, which in turn produce acid as a byproduct of digestion. That acid then attacks your enamel, leading to cavities. When you eat less sugar, this is less of an issue.
- Stay on schedule with your routine dental care: In addition to everything you do at home, you must check in with your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and exam. Most people will accumulate some plaque even if they’re diligent about brushing and flossing. A dental hygienist can access areas of your smile that you might miss on your own, removing plaque and tartar from these areas.
Want more suggestions of ways you can prevent tooth decay? Call our office to chat with one of our knowledgeable staff members.