Preventative Tips For Oral Disease

Dental_CareThe outcomes for many types of oral diseases are much better than they were even a generation or two ago. But from the standpoint of your body, the best outcome is for a disease to be caught in its earliest stages by proper dental care, or to never start at all!

There are many things you can do to improve your current state of oral health. Here are a few tips to help you prevent and/or minimize emerging oral diseases.

Bacteria: The Common Foe of Teeth and Gums

Almost all diseases of the teeth and gums start as bacterial infections. The food we eat and the beverages (besides water) that we drink create an acidic environment in our mouth – one that allows bacteria to thrive and form a sticky “biofilm” that adheres to our teeth surfaces and promotes tooth decay, gum disease and other health challenges.

The main weapon we have in this ongoing battle against bacteria is proper dental care, which includes twice-daily brushing, daily flossing, regular dental checkups and paying attention to what we eat and how we eat it. These steps provide the foundation for arresting the bacteria-formation process.

 Dental Care to Defeat Oral Disease

  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste and make flossing a daily habit. Brushing and flossing remove bacterial plaque from all your teeth surfaces, and the fluoride in toothpaste remineralizes teeth, which bolsters them from future “acid attacks.”
  • Watch how often you snack between meals. It’s not just WHAT you eat, it’s also how OFTEN. Every time you eat or drink, you’re inviting an “acid attack” and the formation of more bacteria in your mouth.
  • Ask your dentist about treatments such as CariFree. He or she can prescribe anti-bacterial treatments that can boost your good oral habits and help keep tooth decay at bay.
  • Consider chewing sugarless gum with xylitol. Xylitol lowers the pH level in your mouth, creating a less acidic environment and blocking bacteria-causing plaque. It can also help rebuild your tooth’s enamel, further protecting it from cavities.

“Your dentist can advise you on the best ways to protect your teeth and gums from disease, but much of proper preventive dental care starts at home with your daily habits,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix.

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