TEN WAYS TO AVOID TOOTH DECAY AND CAVITIES
To keep your smile healthy and bright, you have to fight tooth decay every day. Why? Acidic bacteria in your mouth starts to erode your enamel, which becomes cavities. Without treatment, a cavity can turn into an infection that will impact your smile's health and appearance. To reduce your risk of many issues, DentalWorks in McKinney, TX has some suggestions on how to save your teeth from decay. The following ten simple tips are good ways to help keep your smile healthier.
10. BRUSH IT OFF
At least twice a day, you should be brushing and flossing your teeth. We all know this; however, if you're not doing it, you are inviting decay to develop and harm your teeth. In addition to how often you are flossing and brushing, you also need to have good technique. At every visit to our office in McKinney, TX, our team will demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques so our patients can optimize their dental care routine at home. You can also ask your dental team for suggestions on products that will make your teeth healthier at home. As an example, if you are brushing manually with a traditional toothbrush, you will be amazed at how an electric toothbrush can make your teeth look and feel cleaner. Also, you should make sure that your toothpaste has fluoride because...
9. THE POWER OF FLUORIDE
While we think of fluoride treatments as a thing we used to get, they aren't just for children. Many dentists suggest in-office fluoride rinses for younger patients starting around first grade through their late teens. However, if an adult is prone to cavities, a fluoride treatment can be beneficial to your oral health. An easy way to get fluoride on your teeth is drinking tap water. Ask your water supplier if your tap water has fluoride and how much. The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends every liter of water have 0.7 mL of fluoride in it. If you aren't getting optimal levels, get information on professional treatments at your dentist. DentalWorks in McKinney, TX offers treatments performed in our office plus fluoride tablets and mouthwash you can use between visits.
8. USING X-RAY VISION
It's hard to diagnose tooth decay on your own. This is just one reason why it is so important to visit your dentist for an annual exam with x-rays to assess your teeth, gums, and jaw. Digital x-rays reveal more information about your teeth so your dentist can identify areas where decay is developing and where it has already turned into a cavity. With this information, your dentist can address cavities and avoid a larger problem with a filling. Your dentist may also suggest proactive treatments, such as dental sealants and fluoride, to help make sure a cavity doesn't develop.
7. SUGAR > BACTERIA > TOOTH DECAY
Enjoying high sugar food and drinks without cleaning your teeth can make it easier for tooth decay to develop. Tooth decay is caused by acidic bacteria in drinks and food with a lot of sugar, including candy, juice, and soda. Since sugar is not good for your body either, it's good to limit or eliminate how much you consume. If you do have something sugary, you should brush right away. Brushing your teeth can help to eliminate the bacteria before it turns into tooth decay.
6. A PROFESSIONAL OPINION
Although your family is really busy, your dental appointment should not be missed. The health of your mouth depends on being aware of what's happening in your mouth. During routine appointments, your dental team will both polish your teeth and check for problems. The sooner issues are found, you'll have more treatment options, which are typically noninvasive. As an example, when identified early, tooth decay may be repaired with dental sealants or a professional fluoride treatment. Without treatment, the decay can turn into a cavity, which can be repaired with a filling. However, without treatment, the cavity will get bigger and you will require a bigger restoration, such as an onlay, inlay, or dental crown. If you continue to ignore the problem, it can spread to the pulp inside the tooth and then you will need root canal therapy. Without treatment, an extraction may be needed before your other teeth get infected. If you still don't seek help, the infection can reach your whole body through your bloodstream. So, go to the dentist twice a year for an exam and cleanings to avoid bigger issues that start with tooth decay.
5. PREVENT WITH SEALANTS
If you really want to avoid cavities, sealants can be put on put on your teeth to reduce the risk of decay. A flexible plastic material, sealants are put over your premolars and molars. Since the crevices on top of your back teeth easily trap bacteria, dental sealants reduce the risk of cavities where they most commonly appear. Dental sealants can be put on in one quick visit for years of protection. Sealants are usually suggested for younger patients because they haven't developed a consistent oral hygiene routine yet; however, adults may be a good candidate for sealants if they are prone to cavities.
4. USE THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB
Think about what you use your teeth for. Most people use their teeth to rip things open, pull apart toys, and use their teeth rather than find a proper tool. This will make your enamel weak. Chips, cracks, and fractures can make tooth decay worse since your enamel is weaker. Before you tear open a bag with your teeth rather than getting scissors, think about the future costs and consequences.
3. CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS
When you feel or see signs of tooth decay, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Usually, the first sign of tooth decay is chronic tooth sensitivity. This causes a sharp pain whenever you drink or eat something that is either cold, hot, or sweet. As tooth decay progress, you may notice trouble chewing, toothaches, discoloration (white, brown, or black spots), and visible holes and pits. If you'd rather suffer through pain rather than go to the dentist because of anxiety or fear, ask our office in McKinney, TX for more information on sedation. Along with state-of-the-art techniques and equipment to make treatments less invasive and more effective, DentalWorks in McKinney, TX offers several types of sedation so it's easy to stay relaxed and calm throughout your visit.
2. PASS IT ALONG
To make sure your kids have healthy teeth, you have to be their role model. Flossing and brushing should be a part of everyone's day. If you're not brushing, it's harder to make your kids brush. If you aren't checking to make sure they brush (at least until they are seven years old), then they might not be brushing. When you set a good example and encourage healthy habits, you to reduce the risk of tooth decay (for yourself and your family). And take every member of your family to the dentist twice a year for an oral health exam and professional cleaning.
1. AND BRUSH AGAIN
We're saying it again because it's worth repeating. Your teeth need to be brushed and flossed at least twice a day. Bring a toothbrush and toothpaste with you to school or work. Get a small toothbrush and travel size toothpaste for your child to use at school. When you take the time to regularly floss and brush, you might prevent tooth decay and related problems. If you want more ideas to help you avoid dental decay, visit DentalWorks in McKinney, TX. After a comprehensive examination, we will offer suggestions based on your needs and goals.