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July 24, 2017 admin

Preventing Tooth Decay the Smart Way

preventing tooth decay

When someone says, "Oh, it’s just one cavity," it is a clear indicator they are unaware of the conditions that must be present in the mouth to cause that cavity. Bacteria is no laughing matter, especially when left unchecked in the mouth for extended periods of time. Science continues to uncover more about the relationship between oral health and overall health. Dr. Eckel and the team at Green Hills Smiles are here to help you prevent tooth decay the smart way.

Follow a Dentist Recommended Oral Hygiene Routine

Chances are, you have all of the dental hygiene tools you need to battle decay on the front lines. A soft-bristled toothbrush, dental floss or flossers, and fluoridated mouthwash remove food particles and bacteria left behind by brushing alone. Brushing twice a day is the first step in removing build-up from teeth surfaces. Dental floss helps you reach the spaces between teeth and under the gum line to get rid of plaque before it calcifies. Fluoride mouthwash rinses away loose particles, plus it kills or neutralizes bacteria so it cannot create the acids that cause decay.   

Opt for Fluoride

If you have access to fluoridated drinking water, it can have a positive impact on dental health. Fluoride disrupts the life cycle of the bacteria that live in your mouth. Because fluoride also replaces lost minerals in tooth enamel, it can stop and even reverse mild decay. Fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash should be the base from which your dental hygiene routine begins. 

Choose Xylitol Between Brushings

Xylitol is often overshadowed by fluoride, but it has been used for decades in the war on tooth decay. Did you know that Xylitol can boost the remineralization process begun by fluoride? It turns out that using both fluoride and Xylitol as part of a dental hygiene routine has a positive synergistic effect on tooth enamel. Brushing after meals or snacks may not always be possible, even when we understand fewer bacteria usually means less decay. Knowing this, it is a good idea to keep sugarless gum or candies containing Xylitol on hand to boost saliva production and help neutralize acids. What better way to fight tooth decay than with a natural sweetener the bacteria in the mouth cannot digest!  

Is a Prescription Mouthwash in Order?

If you have recently undergone certain dental procedures, Dr. Eckel may recommend a prescription mouthwash. Periodontal disease requires commitment to a long-term dental hygiene routine that often begins with deep cleanings and antibiotics. A prescription strength antimicrobial mouthwash can help heal swollen and irritated gums regardless of the cause.

Make Your Next Appointment at Green Hills Smiles

As brilliant as the team at Green Hills Smiles is, they cannot fight tooth decay without your help. Dr. Eckel will work with you to create the ideal dental hygiene routine, including regular dental cleanings and check-ups. Brushing and rinsing twice a day and flossing at least once are the best steps you can take to fight tooth decay at home. Get in touch to learn more about proper preventative practices that will keep tooth decay at bay.