How to Prevent Tooth Decay

How to Prevent Tooth Decay
Posted on 02/02/2018
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At Choice Orthodontics, we work hard to provide high-quality orthodontic care to families across Saint Joseph, Gallatin, Savannah, Cameron, and other Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas communities. Dr. Windhorst and her highly-trained staff want to make every patient feel at home in our offices.

We have years of experience working with patients of all ages and with every kind of orthodontic need. Our mission is to help people develop beautiful, healthy smiles—and that means taking an active stance on tooth decay prevention.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Your mouth is a dynamically balanced ecosystem filled with living bacteria—both the good and the bad kind. While many types of bacteria benefit your teeth and mouth, others break down the sugars and carbohydrates in food and turn them into acids that eat away at tooth enamel and cause decay. What dental professionals want is to keep those harmful bacteria in check, allowing the beneficial bacteria and other biological factors like saliva to strengthen and clean your teeth.

A Common, But Preventable Problem

Tooth decay is one of the most common human diseases, second only to the common cold! Today it affects more than 25% of children between the ages of two and five in the United States, as well as 50% of children between the ages of twelve and fifteen. Without effective treatment tooth decay can lead to pain, tooth loss, and sometimes even worse illnesses. Thankfully, tooth decay is highly preventable.

What Can You Do?

There's no single "magic bullet" to stop tooth decay, but using a combination of preventive techniques can keep tooth decay at bay. At the most basic level, a consistent routine of brushing and flossing your teeth at home combined with regular cleanings at a dentist’s office can help prevent decay. But that's just the beginning of the prevention process. In addition to these basic elements, it's important that you watch your:

  • Diet: Foods that are high in sugar or acids can eat away at tooth enamel, and colored drinks like soda and coffee can stain teeth. It's important to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet in order to ensure proper dental health.
  • Brushing Technique: While brushing your teeth is important, equally as important is how you brush your teeth, especially while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. Make sure you cover all areas, including uneven surfaces, and utilize Dr. Windhorst’s recommended best practices for oral hygiene.
  • Seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and exams: Your dentist will also be able to help stop tooth decay by performing regular dental cleanings and taking x-rays to check for decay between your teeth.
  • Supplementary Treatments: Treatments like dentals sealants can also help prevent tooth decay.

Contact Your Saint Joseph & Gallatin Orthodontist Today

If you have any questions about preventing tooth decay, we'd be happy to answer them. Feel free to reach out to our Saint Joseph or Gallatin office via our contact page. We can't wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping you develop a beautiful, healthy smile!