How Can I Prevent Tooth Decay?
To effectively prevent tooth decay, it is essential to understand what causes it and who is susceptible to developing it. Only then can the proper steps be taken to control it and, more importantly, prevent it.
What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay occurs when cariogenic bacteria break down carbohydrates in food to produce acidic substances that demineralize the hard tissue of the teeth. Tooth decay consists of four elements: host, time, bacteria, and food.
Who is Prone to Tooth Decay?
Certain people are more likely to develop tooth decay than others. The following factors are often present in people who are prone to tooth decay:
- Bad eating habits (high amount and frequency of free sugar intake)
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Body factors (poor tooth mineralization, low saliva secretion, irregular dentition)
- High susceptibility to caries due to genetic factors
How Can I Prevent Dental Caries?
Preventing tooth decay is essential to preserving oral health. Here are six ways you can take charge of your oral health:
1. Change Your Eating Habits
This includes reducing your carbohydrate intake, such as sweets, refined pasta, cookies, cakes, and more. It also includes limiting the consumption of acidic foods like carbonated drinks and acidic fruits.
2. Develop Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Correctly brushing your teeth is essential, such as through the improved Pasteur brushing method. It is important to remember that brushing alone does not get between the teeth, so using floss, an interdental brush, or an irrigator is required. Also, select a fluoride toothpaste. In addition, fluoride-containing mouthwash can be used for long-term bedridden patients to help preserve their teeth from tooth decay.
3. Correct Overcrowded Dentition
Overcrowded teeth can cause food impaction and make brushing less efficient. Thus, orthodontic treatment improves teeth while reducing the risk of cavities.
4. Extract Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth that are not positioned correctly and are crooked will not only easily cause swelling and pain but also cause the adjacent teeth to decay due to the impact of food. Therefore, extracting them as soon as possible is recommended to eliminate hidden tooth decay and oral issues.
5. Apply Fluoride Regularly
Fluoride can help prevent tooth decay, so regularly visit the dentist every 3-6 months for fluoride treatment or as recommended.
6. Schedule Regular Dental Check-ups
It is recommended to regularly visit a dentist for a full-mouth dental check-up, early detection, and early treatment of tooth decay.
Tooth decay is preventable! Proper oral care, limiting certain foods, and regular dental check-ups make it possible to have healthy teeth and a beautiful smile.
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