Is it possible to reverse tooth decay? You probably know that tooth decay causes cavities, but did you know that you can stop and reverse tooth decay before a cavity is formed?
Tooth decay begins when a tooth is frequently exposed to acid. The repeated exposure causes tooth enamel to lose minerals, which weakens the enamel and eventually leads to a hole in the tooth. But enamel can repair itself with minerals found in saliva, toothpaste, and other sources. The key to reversing tooth decay is to catch it early, before the tooth enamel is weakened and destroyed.
Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly are important for preventing and reversing tooth decay, but they aren’t the only things you can do to keep your teeth healthy. Eating a healthy diet also helps reduce the amount of acid that your teeth are exposed to in the first place. If you suspect that you have early signs of tooth decay, consider these tips for protecting and preserving your teeth.
Change your diet
There are many vitamins and minerals present in the foods that we eat. Bone-building calcium can be found in dairy foods and dark leafy greens like kale and collards. Whole grains contain vitamin B, iron, and magnesium, which can help your body absorb calcium. Seafood is a good source of vitamin D. Foods rich in fiber can promote salivation, which helps strengthen your teeth.
It’s best to avoid sugary and acidic drinks like soda, fruit juice, coffee, and lemonade. Instead, drink water, which helps moisten the mouth. Dry mouth causes a wealth of dental health issues. Saliva helps consistently re-mineralize teeth and make them stronger. When possible, consume drinks through a straw to limit their contact with your teeth.
Chew sugarless gum
You wouldn’t think that sticky chewing gum would actually be beneficial for your oral health, but some sugarless gyms contain a sugar-free sweetener called xylitol that is beneficial for oral health. Xylitol actually helps prevent tooth decay by inhibiting growth of the bacteria that cause cavities. Chewing gum also promotes saliva production, which is essential for overall mouth health.
Clean and change your toothbrush regularly
It’s not always easy to remember to change your toothbrush. Do you know how long you’ve been using your current toothbrush? It’s probably time to change it. Experts suggest changing your toothbrush about every three months to ensure that you are always using a brush that is clean and functions properly. You should also change your toothbrush after you’ve been sick as it may be harboring bacteria.
When shopping for a replacement, remember that medium-sized brushes are best for most people. You need a brush that effectively reaches all areas of your mouth, including tight spots. Choose a medium-firmness or soft brush to avoid harsh, damaging cleaning. And don’t forget to care for your toothbrush correctly. Avoid toothbrush covers, because they do not allow toothbrushes to dry completely, and this leads to bacterial growth. And of course, keep your toothbrush away from the toilet area of your bathroom to avoid contamination.
Develop a good oral hygiene routine
Thoroughly brush your teeth after each meal, if possible, and also before bedtime. Consider using an electric toothbrush to ensure even more thorough cleaning. In addition to brushing, floss between teeth to clean surfaces that brushing can miss. Flossing also helps clean along the gum line. And talk to your dentist about mouthwash options that may be right for you. Some mouthwashes merely freshen breath, but others have antibacterial properties or help with conditions such as dry mouth.
Visit your dentist every six months
Regular visits to the dentist ensure that your oral health care provider can help you keep tabs on the overall health of your mouth and discover any concerns before they turn into bigger issues. Even though most people don’t like trips to the dentist, don’t put off this important health maintenance appointment!
Does the idea of dental treatment or even a routine cleaning make you cringe? Many dentists use advanced tools and techniques to ensure that dental procedures remain as comfortable and pain-free as possible. Ask your dentist or oral surgeon about DentalVibe, a tool that completely eliminates the pain of dental injections. If your oral health care provider doesn’t use DentalVibe, let them know you’re interested, or visit our directory of DentalVibe certified providers to find a certified pain-free dentist near you.