How Acid Affects Teeth
Learning how to prevent tooth decay can be as simple as maintaining a low-acid environment in your mouth. Consider that food you leave on and in between the teeth encourages bacterial activity. This harmful bacteria shed acids, and these acids attack tooth enamel. Therefore, it is essential to prevent acid buildup, which means that you need to keep bacteria populations low.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay Daily
It starts at home. The best defense against an acidic oral environment is the toothbrush. Brush your teeth twice a day for best results. If you want to prevent the buildup of acids throughout the day, consider brushing right after meals every time you eat or snack.
Another tool to consider is dental floss. Flossing teeth cleans the space between them. Sometimes, a toothbrush cannot reach there, which leads to food particles that remain in place. As you might guess, these particles give rise to bacterial activity.
The experts in general dentistry in Webster, TX, suggest reviewing your techniques for best practices. For example, did you know that it’s possible to brush too hard? Doing so does more harm to the enamel and the gums than good.
Another tip to prevent tooth decay suggests that you chew sugarless gum in between meals. It encourages saliva production, which cuts down on the mouth’s acidic environment. Besides that, drink water instead of fruit juices or sugar-laden sodas that contribute more acid to the mouth. These are just a few ways on how to prevent tooth decay naturally.
Learning More About Tooth Decay Prevention at the Dentist’s Office
Regular cleanings and dental exams are necessary to prevent tooth decay as well. Because of the specialty tools that hygienists use, they can remove the early buildup of plaque. Doing so takes away the surfaces that bacteria multiply on.
Besides that, the exam allows the dentist to screen you for signs of oral cancer. Similarly, x-rays assist with gauging the health of your teeth. The hygienist may tip off the dentist to the presence of dark spots on the chewing surfaces. They may then check more closely to ascertain if there’s decay lurking inside the tooth.
In the course of the examination, your dentist might suggest a preventative fluoride treatment. It strengthens the teeth when you might not have been getting enough through your water intake. There are also oral rinses that help with replacing the fluoride content in your mouth.
What Happens if You Do Nothing?
Decay doesn’t get better on its own. Instead, it worsens. There’s a good chance that the condition progresses slowly. It starts with the discoloration of the enamel. You’ll notice brown spots that gradually darken.
In the process, the enamel softens. If your dentist were to treat the problem at this stage, they would fill the cavity. Because of the availability of tooth-colored fillings, nobody would be able to tell that it’s there.
If you decide that you’re not going to get treatment, the condition worsens. Above all, the cavity grows in size as the enamel breaks down. When a large portion of the tooth’s top has to come off, a filling may be insufficient to fix the problem. Therefore, the dentist may then suggest a crown.
At this point, you’re probably dealing with quite a bit of pain. However, some people have a high threshold for pain. You chew on the other side. Similarly, you avoid hot or cold foods. Unfortunately, ignoring the pain means the decay will reach the dentin. At this point, you will need a filling.