Did you know that the number one chronic childhood illness in the United States is? Issues with tooth decay can continue into adulthood, which is why it’s more important than ever for you to learn how to reduce your risk of tooth decay.
What causes tooth decay?
Whenever you consume sugary foods and drinks, the sugar coats the surface of your teeth and gums. The bacteria that live in your mouth then eat this sugar to produce an acid that deteriorates tooth enamel. If you have a toothache and suspect a cavity, we recommend calling a dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Sensitive teeth can also be a sign of a bigger oral health issue.
Reduce Sugary Foods and Drinks
The bacteria in your mouth love to feed on sugar. Unfortunately, when you eat a lot of sugary foods, you are giving bacteria more food to produce acid. Acid is what erodes away your natural tooth enamel and causes cavities. We encourage you to read labels carefully so you can enjoy a balanced nutritious diet.
Make sure you also check the nutritional facts for pop, energy drinks, and juice, which are all common sources of sugar. It may surprise you to learn how much sugar is in your child’s juice box or your morning energy drink. Even coffee can contain a lot of sugar, depending on how you prepare it.
Eating stimulates saliva production. While this may seem gross to think about, it’s good news for your teeth. Saliva washes away tiny food particles from your teeth. The more food you eat, the more saliva is produced. We recommend limiting snacks because your mouth doesn’t produce as much saliva after a snack as it would after a full meal.
If you absolutely need a snack to get through your day, we recommend choosing something healthy like carrot sticks or plain yogurt. Chewingafter eating food can also increase saliva production.
When you’re dehydrated, it’s harder for your mouth to produce enough saliva to wash away tiny food particles. To stay hydrated, make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Keep in mind that certain foods and beverages can dry out your mouth and make you more vulnerable to tooth decay. For example, coffee can dry out your mouth if you don’t drink enough water as well.
Brush and Floss Teeth
Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily toand bacteria from your smile. We recommend using toothpaste that contains fluoride so you can strengthen the tooth enamel. Strong tooth enamel is your first line of defense against acid that causes cavities.
Schedule Professional Teeth Cleanings
While you can remove a lot of dental plaque from your teeth by brushing and flossing, only a professional teeth cleaning will be able to remove plaque hiding in between teeth or along the gum line. A is also the perfect opportunity for your family dentist to check for or .
Dr. Jeff Helmus DDS at River Ridge Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is dedicated to helping patients achieve their best smiles. If you are interested in setting up a professional teeth cleaning or oral exam, call our Wyoming family dentistry at (616) 538-7320.