When you or your children have a cavity, the tooth needs treatment with dental services like a filling or root canal therapy. Tooth decay compromises your oral health, despite being entirely avoidable. So what should you know about how to prevent tooth decay for your whole family’s healthiest smiles?
About Tooth Decay
To understand how to prevent tooth decay, let’s start with what tooth decay does to your teeth. Tooth decay is when oral bacteria destroy your tooth enamel and the next layer of the tooth, the dentin. These bacteria live in the plaque left on your teeth after you eat and throughout each day. The bacteria even grow and work to damage your teeth as you sleep.
When tooth decay happens to your teeth, sometimes you see a discolored spot on your tooth that is white, yellow, brown or black. This spot is where sugar, touch, heat or cold start hurting you. Or maybe your tooth hurts when you bite down. When you feel this tooth sensitivity, it means the decay is reaching your tooth nerve.
You cannot always see early tooth decay on your tooth. Your dentist finds these vulnerable areas of a cavity on a digital dental radiograph or another imaging study. Using dental X-rays catches decay early and allows you to get treatment before too much damage develops.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
How to prevent tooth decay is easy. That is, you need to brush your teeth twice each day, floss daily and visit your dentist at least twice each year. Also, use fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride rinse. Avoid eating sugar, sugary snacks or soft drinks.
To help your children understand how to prevent tooth decay, teach them good daily oral hygiene early. Also, take them for dental checkups from infancy and help them stay relaxed about visiting the dentist and taking care of their teeth. Ensure your children brush thoroughly and do this for them until they show the skills needed to clean all the plaque from their teeth.
Also, avoid giving your children a bottle at bedtime. Sleeping with a bottle allows the sugars in milk, juice or soda to linger on their teeth for the night, with plaque going to work on their newly forming teeth. If your child must sleep with a bottle, fill the bottle with water.
Quality Dental Care For the Whole Family
Your whole family needs a professional and caring family dentist. This dentist provides treatment for adults, teens, children and even infants. Developing a relationship with one family dentist makes your oral health care hassle-free.
Set a good example for your children and avoid using fearful language about these visits to help them not fear their checkups. This also helps them develop good dental care skills for adulthood.
Advanced dental care your family needs from your family dentist include:
- General dentistry
- Emergency dentistry
- Family and cosmetic dentistry
- Restorative dentistry
- Teeth whitening
In Orlando, we know how to prevent tooth decay. S. Keith Mahan, DDS provides your family dental care. Call us now at 407-841-7241 to schedule a consultation.