The mouth is home to many million bacteria at any given time. These bacteria are responsible for dental plaque and cavities. These bacteria can also lead to periodontal diseases, such as gingivitis. Thus, to preserve that beautiful smile, one must make it a habit to practice good oral hygiene practices. Oral hygiene practices, such as brushing teeth after every meal, flossing, avoiding sugary and starchy foods, and using an antimicrobial wash, prevent bacteria reproduction and thus, periodontal diseases.
What Leads to Tooth Decay?
The human mouth is home to colonies of bacteria that perform the vital function of breaking down and recycling food. Unfortunately, when these bacteria feed on sugars present in food items, they leave behind a biofilm of waste, often known as dental plaque. Bacteria stick to this biofilm and keep releasing acids that destroy enamel and cause cavities. Sometimes, these same bacteria also produce toxins. The deposition of these toxins within the gum tissues leads to a periodontal disease called gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can cause loss of bone and tissue around teeth. This condition is called Periodontitis.
Sugary and starchy foods are the most common sources of dental plaque. Candies, crackers, alcohol, potato chips, and bread are some of the everyday food items that cause dental plaque. This plaque produces substances that cause bleeding and sensitivity in gums. Moreover, this
dental plaque can also cause diseases in which the gums separate from the teeth, thereby leading to the creation of gum pockets. Bacteria and pus fill these gum pockets and lead to bad breath.
Is It Possible to Prevent Tooth Decay?
When it comes to tooth decay, brushing helps the most as it effectively removes plaque from the surface of teeth. So, buy a soft-bristled brush that fits your mouth and use it twice a day to brush your teeth. When it comes to toothpaste, any antimicrobial toothpaste with fluoride is the right choice as the fluoride prevents tooth decay. Either use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove plaque from teeth at least once every day.
Here’s How to Brush and Floss Properly
When it comes to brushing and flossing, the American Dental Association has a few handy tips on how to brush and floss.
Tips on How to Brush
- While brushing, your brush should be at a 45-degree from your gums. Brush using short and gentle strokes.
- Make sure to brush the outer and inner as well as chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces, switch to upward and downward strokes.
- Always remember to brush your tongue as well.
Tips on How to Floss
- Take about 18-inches of floss. Holding it firmly between your thumbs and middle fingers, gently floss your teeth.
- On reaching the gum line, curve the floss into a C shape and move it slowly between your gum and tooth.
- To clean the contact points between teeth, move the floss in upward and downward motions.
- Finally, rub the side of each tooth using the floss, repeating the upward and downward motions.
- Repeat this for all teeth.
A Good Mouth Rinse Provides Extra Protection
Include a mouth rinse, preferably an anti-microbial mouth rinse, in your daily oral care routine. Antimicrobial mouth rinses provide protection against bacteria and reduce the likeliness of gingivitis and other gum diseases. If you have something against, anti-microbial mouth rinses, consider buying a fluoride mouth rinse. However, fluoride rinses do not suit everyone and should especially not be used by children below the age of 6. While buying a mouth rise, always check the label for any precautions. Alternatively, it is also a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting with a fluoride mouth wash.
Here Are a Few Additional Tips on Oral Care
- Try and stay away from sugary drinks. Replace sugary drinks with milk and yogurt.
- If you find yourself unable to avoid sweetened beverages, drink water to wash down sugar and acids.
- While consuming any sweetened drink, always use a straw to reduce contact between the beverage and your teeth.
- Make sure to drink a lot of fluoridated water with and between meals.
For more information about oral health and preventing tooth decay, contact Paul Mansky Dental today! We are located in Troy, Michigan and can be reached at (248) 689-5508 and we hope to hear from you soon!