Your oral health has a profound impact on your overall wellness. A healthy smile can boost confidence and enhance your life and relationships. A consistent and appropriate oral hygiene plan of care can help you to avoid future problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to lifelong oral health and wellbeing.
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay can occur when the bacteria in your mouth creates acid which eats away at the structure of the tooth. The three layers of your teeth are the outer layer, called enamel, the middle layer, which is dentin, and the core of the tooth, called pulp, which is made up of nerves and blood vessels. Decay may begin with a cavity and create a hole in your tooth. The more layers of teeth that are affected determine the severity of tooth decay.
What are the causes?
Plaque, which naturally forms on the teeth, can be managed with regular cleaning and checkups. If plaque is not controlled, bacteria can grow. Tooth decay may be caused by:
- Inadequate dental care routine
- Insufficient fluoride
- A diet that is high in sugar or carbohydrates
- Dry mouth reduces saliva, which is necessary to wash away food particles and sugars
- Diabetes and other health conditions
- Using tobacco or inhaling second hand smoke
Dr. A and our professional team at Innovative Dental By Dr. A, serving Philadelphia and Northeast Philadelphia, believe in partnering with our patients for the best care of their teeth and gums. With a complete range of family, emergency, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, we help patients to achieve their healthiest smiles.
Prevention of tooth decay
Tooth decay can be prevented with the following measures:
- Establishment of a trusting, familiar relationship with your family dentist. Professional cleanings and oral health screenings once or twice per year can catch potential problems before they worsen
- Brush and floss twice a day. Brush your teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush, in a gentle, circular motion, addressing each tooth individually. Flossing should be done once or twice a day with an up and down movement, not in and out between teeth.
- Avoid bedtime snacks, as food particles on the teeth overnight may lead to cavities
- Limit sugar and sticky foods
- Do not use tobacco products
- For babies and children, don’t give a bottle of milk, formula, or juice at bedtime, and avoid feeding your child with utensils that adults have used, as this can transfer adult bacteria
For your optimal oral health, contact our knowledgeable and friendly dental professionals at Innovative Dental By Dr. A today at (215) 624-1935.