Tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth enamel, the outer layer of your teeth. This issue occurs when foods that contain carbohydrates (sugar and starch) such as bread, cereal, cake, milk, soda, fruit, or candy are left the teeth. The bacteria, acid, food debris, and saliva combine to form plaque that clings onto the teeth. Then, the acids in the plaque dissolve the enamel surface of the teeth creating cavities.
Here are a few steps to prevent tooth decay:
1. Brush your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride. We recommend brushing after each meal and especially before bed.
2. Have a nutritious and well-balanced diet. Be sure to limit sugary snacks as much as possible because they will remain on the tooth surface.
3. Stay hydrated by drinking water to prevent tooth decay buildup.
4. Rinse your mouth with a fluoride-containing mouthwash to kill bacteria that cause plaque.
5. Visit your dentist regularly at least twice a year for a bi-annual checkup and professional cleaning.
Cavities that can lead to tooth decay are more commonly found in children, but changes can occur with aging. Remember, bacteria in plaque can convert the sugars present in your food into acids. If plaque is allowed to build up over time, these acids can begin to damage your teeth. This is why good oral hygiene is a vital part of preventing tooth decay.
Read more: How can I prevent baby tooth decay?
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