Ways to protect your Teeth from Decay

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Benjamin Franklin

Today tooth decay is one of the leading cause of tooth loss. By 2000 AD WHO has pledged the member state to reduce the DMF ( decayed, missing, filled) ratio to 3  at 12 years of age. It is possible only when proper preventive measures are taken to protect the tooth from decay rather than resorting to advanced treatment. 

teeth protection from decay

 

When oral bacteria  (mostly Streptococcus mutants ) feed on sugar in your diet they produce acids that demineralize the enamel and dentin thus forming cavities. There are  four factors for caries : Agent (Bacteria) ,Host (Susceptible tooth) ,Environment(Diet),Time. So prevention should aim at reducing these factors.

You should reduce or avoid foods which increase acid production in mouth such as sweets or refined sugar,  sticky food, sodas or energy drinks and processed foods. Switch to healthier snacks like fruit and vegetable and be sure to drink a lot of water. Further Plaque forms within 2-4 minutes of mouth rinsing and irreversible bacterial colonisation within 2-4 hours. So rinse your mouth every time you eat something. Also brush twice daily(especially at a time of retiring to bed) with a fluoride toothpaste and floss.There are certain medications and procedures that cause dryness of mouth and carries promotion-Antihistaminics, irradiation, alcohol, smoking.  So try to avoid them or take sugar-free chewing gum to promote salivation. But Initial cavity can be detected only by your dentist. So make sure you visit them regularly. Also, Regular professional cleaning can remove plaque from inaccessible site of your mouth. Orthodontic correction should be done in children to remove irregular teeth.Pit and  Fissures on your teeth can lead to food accumulation and plaque formation. So get them covered with sealants in newly erupted teeth.Fluoride varnish and gel can also be tried in children.

Good oral hygiene is the key to good health. So try inculcating these habits in your routine to avoid going through the painful procedure.