Five Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay
Brush and floss twice a day. Don’t eat candy. And don’t use tobacco.
Sound advice, to be sure, but it’s not likely something you haven’t heard before. Although it’s nice to get healthy reminders from time to time, here at New Albany Implants, we want to consider other factors that affect your oral health.
Here are five ideas to keep Southern Indiana healthy and smiling bright:
Avoid the Sugar/Acid Combo
Certainly, you know that sugar is bad for your teeth, and you may even be aware of the dangers of acid. But did you know that the real threat to your oral health is the combination of the two? Acid weakens the enamel protecting your teeth, while sugar feeds the bacteria that cause tooth decay. So when you have them together, you have the perfect storm for cavities, or even worse, a tooth infection.
This sugar/acid combo is common in a lot of food that we eat, especially carbonated sodas, and even some fruit juices. That is why making wise choices about the beverages you consume is so important. Here’s something to keep in mind the next time you enjoy a soda: the acid used to flavor most diet sodas, phosphoric acid, is also used to remove rust. Is that something you want going into your mouth and body?
Chew Your Food
Of course you have to chew your food, but it actually does more than break down your food for digestion. The act of chewing generates saliva, and saliva helps protect your teeth for decay. It loosens food particles from your teeth, and neutralizes acid before it can go to work on your enamel.
Choosing foods with healthy dietary fiber will give you plenty to chew on. Fruits like apples, vegetables like carrots, and nuts like almonds are all good choices for snacks that will get the juices going in your mouth and help guard against decay.
Brush Your Tongue
It’s no big news flash to tell you you need to brush your teeth. You’ve been hearing that since kindergarten, so much so that you are likely tired of hearing it. So we are not going to remind you to brush your teeth. We are, however, going to remind you to brush your tongue.
Along with saliva, your tongue is designed to keep your mouth clean. It is almost constantly moving around your mouth, getting food, sugar, and bacteria off of your teeth. The problem is, if you don’t clean all that bacteria off of your tongue it will end up back on your teeth. That is why it is so important to brush your tongue whenever you are brushing your teeth. Get the bacteria of your tongue so that it doesn’t stick around to cause more damage. Even if it doesn’t get back on your teeth, bacteria on your tongue is a major cause of bad breath. And nobody wants that!
Drink Plenty of Water
It may be hard to believe that something as simple as drinking water can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, but there are few more important for your oral health than staying hydrated. For one thing, drinking water will fight the negative effects of some of your diet habits. For example, drinking a diet soda is bad for your teeth, but if you follow it up with a large glass of water, then you will wash away the sugar and acid from your teeth.
Staying hydrated also allows your mouth to produce the saliva it needs. Dry mouth is one of the largest contributors to tooth decay and gum disease, and the best way to prevent dry mouth is to drink plenty of water.
We’ve already mentioned the dangers of drinking sodas, both regular and diet, but fruit juices and sports drinks are often just as bad. So stick to water as your daily drink of choice and only treat yourself to juice and soda on special occasions.
Get Regular Cleanings
Although healthy home dental care, like brushing and flossing, is a must, it is not enough to fully protect your teeth from decay. Unfortunately, there are places in your mouth that are to reach without professional equipment and expertise. That is why regular visits to New Albany Implants is so important. We have the equipment and training necessary to keep your smile beautiful and healthy.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our Southern Indiana office.