How to Fight Tooth Decay

Cosmetic DentistIf you’re visiting your cosmetic dentist regularly for oral health check-ups, you’ve probably already had a conversation with him or her about tooth decay and your personal susceptibility to it. Cavities, also known as dental caries, are very common in the United States, with about 92 percent of American adults being affected.

However, just because tooth decay is common in this country, it does not have to be inevitable. Here are few steps you and your cosmetic dentist can discuss that can lower your risk of suffering damage from tooth decay.

Steps to Fight Tooth Decay

  • Have a frank conversation with your cosmetic dentist about your health history. Many factors can influence your vulnerability to tooth decay, including the medications you take, your daily habits, a past or current eating disorder, whether you’ve received radiation treatment for your head or neck, as well as genetic factors. Mention any of these conditions to your dentist if they apply in your case.
  •  Practice good oral hygiene. That means brushing your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride and flossing at least once a day. These actions reduce the opportunity for bacterial plaque to damage your tooth enamel.
  • Watch what you eat and drink. To eat and drink in a tooth-friendly way, reduce the amount of “sticky” carbohydrate-heavy foods you eat (such as candy, pretzels and potato chips) and avoid snacking between meals. Drink lots of water, as it keeps your mouth well hydrated and washes debris from your teeth.
  • Discuss fluoride treatments with your cosmetic dentist. If you have improved your oral health routine and are eating in a tooth-friendly way, and still struggle with tooth decay issues, your cosmetic dentist can provide in-office fluoride treatments to make your teeth less vulnerable to decay. He or she may also prescribe special anti-bacterial mouth rinses or other products to improve your body’s ability to resist tooth decay.

“Cosmetic dentists have many tools to help you fight tooth decay,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix. “Let them be your partner in keeping your smile healthy.”

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