26% of US adults have untreated tooth decay. It’s the most common oral disease in the world, but it’s also one of the most preventable.
Healthy habits help slow down tooth decay. Your diet, the way you brush, and how often you see your dentist all play a part.
Read on to learn about 3 easy lifestyle changes that prevent tooth decay.
1. Eat a Better Diet
63% of males and 59% of females in the US don’t eat even one full serving of fruits and vegetables a day.
Diet is an essential part of preventing tooth decay because the mouth is full of bacteria. Many of them use sugar for energy, and when they get it, they produce acid that breaks down teeth.
Limit sugar from candy and soda. If you do have them, make sure it’s during meals. The water and saliva in your mouth will help break them down and minimize damage.
A few foods that prevent tooth decay include:
- Crunchy vegetables such as celery and carrots
- Leafy greens
- Meat and fatty fish
- Dairy products such as cheese and milk
- Sugar-free gum
Avoid frequent snacks between meals, especially if they’re sweet. Your mouth won’t have enough time to break down the dangerous acids they create.
2. Get Better Brushes and Toothpaste
Brushing and flossing are often the first things that come to mind when thinking of how to prevent tooth decay. Get the best results from these simple practices by taking the time to get the right tools.
Start with your toothpaste. It should contain fluoride, an important mineral that strengthens and repairs teeth.
An interdental brush is best for cleaning large gaps. It’s small and flexible and removes plaque and debris between teeth. Flossing helps remove even more to prevent tooth decay.
3. Go To Your Dentist
Your dentist can spot the signs of a decaying tooth during regular yearly cleanings. Make sure to visit them any time you see the signs for yourself. These include:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold
- Dark spots
- Bad breath
- Unusual/unpleasant tastes
Tooth decay treatment options include fluoride, antibacterial, or combined treatments. These preventative measures replace what your body’s missing and prevent bacteria from growing.
If you have a more severe case of decay, you may need a way to protect the surface of your teeth.
One option is a dental sealant, a plastic coating over your back teeth that keeps them from decaying. Read this article on all-on-four dental implants to learn about a way to replace decayed teeth that fell out or had to be removed.
Find More Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay
Working to prevent tooth decay is one of the most important things you can do for your oral health. A few small lifestyle changes are the easiest way to start.
Eat a diet that’s full of crunchy vegetables and low on sugar. This keeps bacteria in your mouth from producing acid that breaks down teeth.
Use the right tools whenever you brush or floss. Buy fluoride-rich toothpaste, an interdental brush, and effective floss.
Visiting your dentist for cleanings and preventative treatments. They can also remove and replace decayed teeth.
Read the rest of our content for more oral health tips.