Tooth decay is incredibly common but also very avoidable!
Dental care statistics don’t paint a pretty picture. 92% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have had a cavity, while 26% suffer from untreated tooth decay. An indicator of overall dental health, tooth decay can be caused by diet, hygiene habits, genetic predisposition, or lack of ongoing preventive care (regular dental check-ups). So what can the average person do insofar as dental care tips to prevent tooth decay?
Our answer to that question goes back to the causes of tooth decay. While there’s nothing any of us can do about our genetic predisposition, the good news is that prevention of tooth decay depends on personal care and habits.These dental care tips at home can help you and your kids to become more aware of the factors leading to dental decay, and how to make the best of your dental toolbox!
3 Dental Care Tips To a Healthier Smile
Tip 1: Be aware of the foods and drinks that can hurt teeth
This isn’t to say these foods should be eliminated wholesale. What we suggest is that, especially for the dental care of a child (whose development is still in process,) families make an effort to teach about a teeth-friendly diet.
- Acidic foods. Lemons and tomatoes and other foods high in acid can make your teeth susceptible to decay over time. Accompany your meal with plenty of water to wash the acids from your teeth.
- Crunchy snacks, like chips. These types of snacks are filled with starch and simple sugars which can wreak havoc on your teeth. When you decide to indulge, be sure to brush and floss afterwards to remove the particles from your teeth.
- Soda is your teeth’s worst enemy. This fizzy, acidic liquid dissolves your tooth enamel over time. Save it for special occasions and when you do drink, wash it down with water to minimize its effects.
Tip 2: Practice regular dental hygiene
The keyword here is regular; what you do every day is more impactful than what you do once in a while. When brushing, understand that rigor is not the measure of quality. In fact, vigorous brushing can wear away at your enamel if it has been compromised by bacteria. Try dividing your mouth into four sections and spending about 30 seconds on each. Hitting the hard-to-reach areas is key to discouraging plaque buildup.
Flossing may be even more important than brushing because it removes plaque from in between your teeth—where your brush can’t reach. Gently rub the floss against each tooth side in the gap. Be sure to wash off the plaque (if you’re using flossing picks) or use a new section of it for the next gap to avoid simply transporting the plaque from one area to another in your mouth. Flossing is your greatest shield against periodontitis, the #1 cause of tooth loss. It’s worth taking the less than two minutes a day to do it.
Tip 3: Make biannual dental check-ups a priority
These check-ups serve several purposes. Beyond being a checkup on your dental health, they also give your dentist the opportunity to clean your teeth of the plaque you can’t remove through brushing and flossing. Plaque is connected to systemic inflammation in your body. If it is allowed to build up, plaque activates the immune system chronically, causing premature aging. A regular dentist appointment gives you the chance to reduce inflammation, monitor the processes going on inside your mouth, and give it a thorough clean!
Personal care makes a big difference.
If we could highlight just one takeaway from these dental care tips, it’s that what you do every day matters. You can promote better dental health through your diet and hygiene practices. While dental caries are unfortunately common, it certainly doesn’t have to be that way. At Limestone Dental, we are strong believers in the ability of education to change people’s lives and improve personal health.
Get more dental care tips for kids at your child’s next pediatric dental appointment. You can give us a call at 302-239-0502 to schedule your next appointment with us at Limestone Dental! Or, click here to learn more about how to become a patient.