4 Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay


Tooth decay is perhaps the single most common dental challenge facing American adults today. More than 90 percent of adults aged 20 to 64 have at least one cavity, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. Some dental patients suffering from tooth decay will experience the common symptoms of a brown spot on a decaying tooth or tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods or beverages. Others, however, experience no obvious symptoms and don’t have cavities detected until they are discovered by a dentist.

Fortunately, there are actions you can take to prevent tooth decay, and most of them are not difficult.

4 Ways To Fight Tooth Decay And Preserve Your Smile

  1. Make daily brushing and flossing routine. Keeping up with your oral hygiene regimen is the foundation of cavity prevention. Both activities play a crucial role in keeping bacterial plaque from sticking to your teeth and causing tooth decay.
  2. Pay attention to your diet, especially your sugar intake. Foods and beverages containing sugar are significant contributors to tooth decay. The World Health Organization has suggested that cutting one’s sugar intake in half could dramatically reduce the number of cavities seen among both children and adults. Replace these calories with foods like dairy products, nuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
  3. Make – and keep – regular dental appointments. Dental examinations often uncover untreated cavities through digital X-rays and thorough visual evaluation of your teeth. The cleaning part of most checkups removes the hardened dental plaque (called tartar) ordinary brushing and flossing leave behind that contributes to tooth decay.
  4. Receive an in-office fluoride treatment. If you are at higher-than-average risk of developing cavities, your dentist may prescribe an in-office fluoride treatment to combat tooth decay. This treatment may consist of a foam, gel, or varnish containing fluoride that is applied briefly to your teeth. Your practitioner may recommend this treatment be repeated yearly, and/or be accompanied by take-home treatments such as a prescription antibacterial mouthwash.

“Tooth decay is one of the most common conditions we treat, and we have many tools available to curb its development and spread,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist practicing in central Phoenix and founder of Dr. Carol Ford & Associates. “Our practice can help you create an individualized plan to keep your teeth healthy and free of decay.”


  1. Thanks for sharing

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