Preventing Tooth Decay

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How to Prevent Tooth Decay

A healthy smile is a vital asset in almost any situation, personal or professional – and maintaining a healthy smile means preventing tooth decay. Tooth decay is perhaps the most common preventable disease in the world, and if left unchecked, it can rot away teeth and necessitate expensive, costly restorative procedures. Thankfully, there are a variety of steps you can take to prevent tooth decay, protecting your smile for years to come.

What is Tooth Decay?

Simply put, tooth decay is the breakdown of tooth material, which forms cavities over time and can lead to infections in the gums and other problems. To find out why this happens, we have to look at the ecology of the human mouth. While you might not know it, your mouth is actually a diverse ecosystem with thousands of species of bacteria – some are good for your teeth, some are bad. When exposed to sugars and carbohydrates in food, the bad bacteria create corrosive acids that eat away at the teeth, forming cavities. Over time, bacteria can congeal together and harden into a sticky film called plaque, which exacerbates decay and causes cavities. Preventing tooth decay means minimizing the presence of bad bacteria, plaque, and sugars and carbohydrates in your mouth.

Preventing Tooth Decay

There are a number of steps you can take to prevent tooth decay and protect your healthy smile for years to come:

  • Daily Oral Hygiene: Perhaps the most important step is a daily routine of brushing and flossing. You should brush at least twice a day – once after breakfast and once before bed – and floss at least once daily. Doing this helps to clear away bacteria, plaque, and food particles from your mouth, protecting your teeth from decay. Make sure to brush for two minutes each time, taking care to clean every surface of the teeth.
  • Monitor Your Diet: Another step is to monitor your diet. Avoid foods that are loaded with sugar, rich in carbohydrates or inherently acidic, as these promote degradation and decay of your teeth.
  • Orthodontic Treatment: While you may not realize it, orthodontic treatment is actually a great step in preventing tooth decay. Crooked teeth have lots of tiny pockets and recesses that are difficult to reach during oral hygiene and make ideal hiding places for bacteria. Straight teeth, on the other hand, are much easier to keep clean, which promotes dental health – so orthodontic treatment is a safeguard for the health of your teeth.
  • Regular Dental Cleanings: In addition to orthodontic treatment, regular exams and cleanings with your dentist are a vital part of keeping the teeth clean and healthy.

Contact Your Dothan, Ozark, & Enterprise, AL Orthodontist

Following these simple tips will help you prevent tooth decay, protecting your teeth and ensuring your smile lasts a lifetime. If you're interested in furthering the protection of your teeth and the development of your smile with orthodontic treatment, we would love to speak with you. Orthodontic treatment is an investment in your best asset, and it confers a boost in confidence and self-esteem at any age. Feel free to call us at (334) 792-1000 or reach out to us at our contact page with any questions or to schedule a consultation at our Dothan, Enterprise, or Ozark, AL offices. We can't wait to hear from you, and we'll see you back at this blog for more information on protecting your healthy, beautiful smile.

Wiregrass Orthodontic Specialists

  • Dothan Office - 100 O’Brannon Park Dr., Dothan, AL 36303 Phone: 334-792-1000
  • Enterprise Office - 557 Glover Ave. #1, Enterprise, AL 36330 Phone: 334-347-6777
  • Ozark Office - 317 James St., Ozark, AL 36360 Phone: 334-792-1000

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