Dental health problems majorly involve tooth decay and dental cavities. Tooth decay refers to the deterioration of tooth structure and may affect the dental layer of teeth and enamel, the outer covering of teeth. Dental cavities are the holes or tiny openings developed in the interior hard shell of the teeth due to permanently damaged areas of teeth. The terms tooth decay and tooth cavity are replaceable. There are a lot of reasons responsible for these problems including bacteria residing in the mouth, frequent use of sugary drinks and sweet snacks, poor oral hygiene practices and not cleaning your mouth so well.
Good oral and dental health practices can prevent tooth decay and cavities. Following these practices you can easily prevent cavities and reduce the risk of tooth decay. You need to consult your dentist to ask which practice is best for you.
Brushing- It is recommended that you should brush your teeth twice daily, even better after each meal. Try to use fluoride containing toothpaste. Interdental cleaner can be used to clean your teeth. Also try to brush your tongue and roof of your mouth before you rinse.
Flossing- There are areas in between the teeth where the brush can't reach where food particles can be trapped. Flossing is the technique used to remove those food particles and plaque. A thin thread of nylon is used for flossing which reaches below the gum line and cleans the teeth. It is necessary to floss your teeth once daily.
Rinsing- It is recommended you should rinse your mouth regularly if your teeth are at a high risk of cavity formation. It is better to rinse your mouth with fluoride mouthwash.
Sealants- A sealant is a protective covering that is applied on the surface of the chewing teeth to guard the enamel from plaque and acid and covers the grooves that collects food. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that sealants should be placed in school aged children for several years but should be checked repeatedly.
Avoid frequent sipping and snacking- If you frequently drink fluids other than water, bacteria in your mouth tends to produce acids which damage enamel and destroy teeth. If you snack the whole day continuously, your teeth are at very high risk of attack.
Drink tap water- Nowadays, most public water supplies provide fluoride water, which is very helpful to reduce the risk of tooth decay. If you drink normal water without added fluoride you missed out on the benefits of fluoride.
Antibacterial treatments- If your teeth are prone to decay due to some kind of medical condition, it is recommended to consume antibacterial oral rinses or some other medication to reduce harmful oral bacteria.
Fluoride treatments- If you are not taking enough fluoride in your diet or drinking water it is recommended to consume extra fluoride or use fluoridated toothpaste. If your teeth have an extremely high possibility of decay it is preferable to apply custom trays on your teeth for application of recommended fluoride.
Diet- Dental health is affected by the food we consume daily. As a result, our oral health affects our food intake. It is necessary to clean your gums, mouth and teeth regularly if you want to remain healthy. So it is important to select food which is beneficial for oral health. A lot of foods cause tooth decay like sugary foods or drinks, candies, desserts, pastries, pure fruit juices, honey and dried fruits. As you increase consumption of sugar and sugary foods the chance of tooth decay also increases.
Some foods are helpful in preventing tooth decay like cheese and dairy products. The proteins present in milk and dairy products bind to the outer surfaces of the tooth and prevent the sticking of tooth decaying bacteria to enamel. A very good amount of calcium is present in dairy products which is necessary for dental health. There are many foods whose consumption prevent the early tooth decay like fresh whole fruits, whole vegetables, cereals, meats, pasta and bread. Good eating practices lead to a healthy smile. Eating a variety of foods provides all types of nutrients which maintains oral and dental health. Do not eat sugary foods and beverages, but if you must, then only occasionally consume them.
Always try to clean your teeth after each meal. Do not eat snacks before going to bed because at that time saliva flow is low due to less production of saliva. Try to care for your teeth and meet your dentist regularly.