When your teeth have too much bacteria on them, they can end up developing cavities or decay. Tooth decay is a common dental problem that requires treatment to prevent tooth loss and infections. Knowing how to prevent tooth decay is an integral part of keeping your teeth healthy. At Lovett Dental Sugar Land, our dentists can provide you with general dentistry Sugar Land, TX services to reduce your risk of decay. You can also lower this risk by keeping the following information in mind.
How Tooth Decay Happens
Tooth decay happens over time rather than happening suddenly. Bacteria on your teeth form a sticky coating of plaque, which turns into a harder layer known as tartar if it isn’t removed. Plaque and tartar have acids that eat away at the enamel on your teeth. This enamel typically protects teeth from bacteria and plaque development. As enamel wears away, plaque acids and bacteria can get to the softer layer of dentin.
When the dentin in your teeth starts to decay, this can cause tooth sensitivity. Dentin connects to the nerves inside your teeth, which can make them more sensitive to heat and cold. You’re also more likely to experience pain when bacteria and acids affect your nerves. Over time, tooth decay keeps getting worse as bacteria and acids move to the layer of pulp inside your teeth. If you have severe decay, you might need to have these teeth removed or have a root canal done. Knowing how tooth decay occurs helps us understand how to prevent tooth decay naturally.
Signs of Tooth Decay
You should see a dentist if you have any of the following signs of tooth decay:
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
- Holes in your teeth
- White, black or brown tooth stains
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
To prevent tooth loss or the need for a root canal, you need to know how to prevent tooth decay. There are several ways to lower your risk of this dental problem and keep your teeth healthy.
Regular dental cleanings in Sugar Land are one of the most effective means of tooth decay prevention. Dentists remove tartar and plaque buildup from your teeth during cleanings and look for signs of tooth decay. You can’t fully remove this buildup on your own by brushing, which makes these visits so essential. You should have dental cleanings and exams done a minimum of twice per year.
Brushing your teeth after you eat or drink helps prevent bacteria from building up on your teeth and forming plaque. You should try to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after each meal. After brushing, you should floss to get rid of bacteria between your teeth.
Knowing how to prevent tooth decay naturally also involves watching what you eat. Foods that contain a lot of sugar or starch tends to attract more bacteria to your teeth. Sticky foods also cling to your teeth and attract bacteria. Instead of eating these, eat a diet filled with fresh vegetables and fruits, cheese, and other foods that help keep your teeth healthy and wash away food particles. Keep in mind that snacking between meals exposes your teeth to more bacteria, so try to avoid doing this often.
Fluoride helps protect your tooth enamel, which lowers your risk of cavities. Knowing how to prevent tooth decay means asking about fluoride treatments in Sugar Land during your cleanings. These treatments might benefit you if you don’t get fluoride from your drinking water. You might also need these treatments if you don’t use toothpaste and other dental care products containing fluoride.
Contact Our Sugar Land Dentist
If you’re due for a routine dental cleaning, lower your risk of tooth decay by contacting Lovett Dental Sugar Land. Our dentists in Sugar Land can provide cleanings twice a year or as often as needed for effective tooth decay prevention. Call 281-759-5900 to schedule an appointment during our convenient hours.