Reversing Tooth Decay
Cavities can occur at any age, and can eventually lead to toothache, fillings and other dental problems. Tooth decay is the corrosion of your tooth's enamel -- the hard outer layer of your teeth. Certain types of bacteria use sugars in food to make acids and over time, these acids can make cavities in your tooth.
Decay may be reversible if it has not reached the dentin, the layer under your tooth’s enamel. One of the most effective ways to reverse decay and prevent cavities is to practice consistent, proper dental hygiene.
Here are a few other tips on how you can prevent and reverse tooth decay:
Fluoride is a mineral that can reverse early tooth decay and prevent its progression. It is commonly found in public water supplies, toothpastes and mouth rinses. Your dentist may also recommend fluoride gel or varnish treatments to prevent and fight the progression of cavities. Fluoride works by replacing lost minerals in tooth enamel, and can also prevent mineral loss. In addition, fluoride can impede the ability of bacteria to make acid and reduce the amount of plaque buildup on teeth.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Limit the amount of carbohydrates you eat and avoid sugary drinks and snacks. Sugars and starches are the most likely culprits that cause the formation of acids and plaque. Acidic drinks such as orange juice, coffee and diet soda also can erode enamel. (If you suffer from acid reflux disease, avoid foods that may cause it to flare up.)
Drink Plenty of Water
Water neutralizes acids and flushes away food particles and bacteria that can cause decay. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating can assist in reversing tooth decay.
Chew Sugarless Gum
Chewing sugarless gum after meals can also help to prevent cavities and reverse decay. Most sugarless gum contains a natural sweetener called xylitol, which reduces plaque formation. Chewing also increases saliva, which rinses away bacteria and food particles. Saliva contains minerals that naturally strengthen teeth and makes the mouth less acidic, which is an important part of retaining these naturally occurring minerals.
Daily Brushing and Flossing
Good oral hygiene goes a long way when it comes to preventing and reversing tooth decay. Thoroughly brush your teeth in the morning and before you go to bed at night. Make the effort to floss your teeth daily. It’s also a good idea to replace your toothbrush about every three months.
See Your Dentist Regularly
Visit the dentist twice a year for cleanings and checkups. Your dentist can catch early tooth decay and advise you on how to stop it in its tracks. Contact Dentalcare Associates in Scotch Plains, NJ, to schedule an appointment today!