brushing teeth

How Do I Prevent Tooth Decay, Gingivitis, and Other Problems?

Preventing Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth enamel, the hard, outer layer of your teeth. It can be a problem for children, teens, and adults. 

To prevent tooth decay:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. 
  • Clean between your teeth daily with dental floss or interdental cleaners. 
  • Rinse daily with a fluoride-containing mouthwash. Some rinses also have antiseptic ingredients to help kill bacteria that cause plaque.
  • Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit snacks. 
  • Check with your dentist about using supplemental fluoride, which strengthens your teeth.
  • Ask your dentist about dental sealants (a plastic protective coating) applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth (molars) to protect them from decay.
  • Drink fluoridated water. 
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.

Preventing Gingivitis 

Gingivitis stems from poor oral hygiene. When bacteria in your mouth sits for an extended period of time plaque begins to form. As plaque sits in your mouth, it goes through a process of hardening over the course of a few days. During this time it migrates and sits in your gums and turns into tartar/calculus. 

Tartar is a breeding ground for bacteria and is very hard to get rid of, requiring a professional cleaning to fully remove. If you let tartar sit in your gum line for an extended period of time, your gingiva will begin to get irritated and your condition will worsen until it is removed. This is when gingivitis and ultimately periodontitis occurs. Eventually, tooth loss can occur.

The sooner you get treatment the easier it is to improve your oral health and can prevent your gingivitis from turning to periodontitis. Gingivitis occurs in roughly 75% of Americans, so you are likely to experience it at some point in your life. This also means that your dentist and their team are trained to deal with the disease through treatment catered to your needs. When treating gingivitis the goal is to regain healthy gums and stop the progression of the disease.

Your dentist may prescribe you some form of medication to help treat gingivitis. Examples of what they may treat you with include:

  • Professional Cleaning 
  • Oral Antibiotics
  • Antiseptic Mouthwash
  • Scaling & Root Planing
  • Bone & Tissue Grafts may be necessary if the gum line has worsened to an unhealable state 

You can discuss many surgical and non-surgical options with your dentist to see which one is the best for your specific needs depending on what stage you are at with gingivitis. Feel free to contact Search Dental with any questions or to schedule an appointment!

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