Dental decay occurs as acids within your oral cavity dissolve the minerals that comprise your tooth enamel. As the minerals are leached from the teeth, holes or cavities form.
Nevertheless, avoiding tooth decay may be easier than you think. Good oral hygiene that includes regular brushing and flossing is imperative. However, there are additional measures that you can take to keep your teeth free of cavities. Here are a few of them.
Receive a Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride treatments are used by dentists to strengthen your teeth and make them more resistant to decay. Fluoride works by attracting displaced minerals back to the tooth surface and combining with the minerals to form new enamel. The remineralization helps repair the early effects of tooth decay before a large cavity develops.
During a fluoride treatment, the dentist coats the teeth with a fluoride gel or solution. The fluoride product remains in place for the prescribed period and is then rinsed from the mouth.
You should experience no discomfort from a fluoride treatment. However, you may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking for the next half hour following your application.
Have Dental Sealants Applied
A tooth will only decay if the corrosive acids are in direct contact with the tooth enamel. To create a barrier between your teeth and oral acids, your dentist may apply dental sealants.
Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are applied to the teeth and hardened into place. The sealants, which are typically used to cover the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, remain in place for years but may eventually wear away and require replacement.
Limit Acidic Drinks
Acid beverages, such as citrus juices and sodas, may also incite decay. The acids in the drinks demineralize the teeth in a manner similar to oral acids. Thus, it is best to limit your consumption of acidic drinks.
If you do indulge in these beverages from time to time, be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water immediately after finishing your drinks. The water helps to neutralize the acids from the beverages. Additionally, it rinses away the sugars that may be left in the mouth.
The removal of the sugars is important since a large amount of the oral acids are produced by bacteria that feed on sugars. The microbes metabolize the simple sugars and release acid as a waste product.
For more ways to lessen your chance of developing tooth decay, schedule a consultation with a clinic like Couchman Center for Complete Dentistry in your local area.