Tooth decay, or cavities, is the destruction of a tooth, and it can affect both the outer enamel and the inner dentin layers. It’s estimated that over 2 billion people suffer from tooth decay across the world and the most common cause is overconsumption of high-sugar foods. When these foods are eaten, the carbohydrates coat the teeth and can encourage the growth of bacteria on the surface of the teeth.
Over time, the combination of bacteria, food debris, and saliva combine into plaques on the teeth that are difficult to remove. When the plaques dissolve, it can leave small holes in the teeth, known as cavities. If these cavities are left untreated, they can worsen and may lead to tooth loss or gum disease.
If you reach the point at which tooth removal is necessary, procedures like Smile on Six are available. Such procedures involve placing six dental implants to maximize support and give you a glowing smile. Despite the high prevalence of tooth decay across the world, it is preventable. By following great oral hygiene practices, you can significantly decrease your risk of getting cavities.
Here are three of the best ways to prevent tooth decay and keep a stunning smile.
We’re all told to brush our teeth twice a day for around two minutes. This recommendation comes from NICE, who recommend this frequency of brushing as it has shown to be most effective in reducing the buildup of plaques on the teeth.
Daily brushing helps to wash away any harmful bacteria to prevent unwanted growth. This reduces your risk of developing cavities and stops you from getting bad breath (halitosis).
The best practice for optimal oral health is to brush once in the morning and once in the evening, ensuring that you brush each surface of the teeth and give your tongue a good scrub.
Avoid High Sugar Foods
Sugary foods, as noted above, are the most common cause of tooth decay and plaque buildup. By reducing your consumption of foods that contain high amounts of sugar, you can decrease the chances of getting cavities.
When you regularly consume high sugar foods, the teeth remain coated with sugars throughout the day. This provides the perfect feeding ground for bacteria to build up on the teeth, resulting in plaques.
That’s not to say you can’t still enjoy your favorite desserts or sweet treats. Ideally, you should eat these foods in moderation and make sure to brush your teeth shortly after consuming them to brush away any excess sugar that remains on your teeth.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
As much as we would all love to avoid going to the dentist, it is necessary to have a check-up at least once a year. Your dentist will be able to assess the state of your teeth and provide any necessary treatment to resolve any presenting issues. They can also provide you with expert advice to ensure you know exactly how to optimize your oral health.