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How to prevent tooth decay

How to prevent tooth decay

We all know how hard it is to resist the temptation of candy or, now that the good weather has arrived, a tasty ice cream, and we don’t want you to stop enjoying these goodies, buy we do want you to control the amount that you consume.

This is because candy and soft drinks contain large amounts of sugar that can put our oral health at risk.

But there is no need to worry because we are now going to give you some advice to help ensure that the impact of the sugars will be practically imperceptible for your teeth.

Our mouth – a perfect ecosystem for bacteria

Did you know that one milligram of dental plaque contains about 100 million bacteria? But that is not all because a single millilitre of saliva contains as many as 750 million bacteria.

But there is no cause for panic; most of these bacteria live in our mouths without causing any illnesses or damage. Our mouth is their home and to show their gratitude they cause no damage to it. However, some of the other bacteria that live in our mouth can cause damage.

If the balance between the different bacteria is altered, the harmful bacteria will increase in number, and they will start to damage our teeth and gums.

So, what causes this change? There is more than one culprit here; bad hygiene, diseases, medicines, hormonal changes or even tobacco and alcohol are just some of the factors that can put our health at risk and cause these bacteria to defend themselves by generating tooth decay or gingivitis.

Do I have cavities?

If you have cavities, you will notice them straight away. You will notice a sharp and piercing pain in a tooth or in a specific zone that will appear suddenly, sometimes without any external stimulus. The pain will get worse when you eat cold or hot foods, and this will make you suspect that something is not right. In addition, it is also possible that you will see some colour changes, stains or visible holes in the tooth where you notice the pain.

The presence of coffee-coloured stains or white stains in your teeth should also put you on alert.

However, these symptoms are not the only ones, as some people notice some sensitivity whenever they touch the tooth as well as a reddening of the gums.

No matter what the problem is, you should visit your dentist to have the state of your oral health checked.

The number one enemy: sugar

But like with almost everything in life, there is a solution. If we want to prevent cavities from appearing and putting our oral health at risk, we need to be careful about the type of food that we eat. This does not mean that we have to stop eating sugary foods, but we should reduce our consumption of these foods.

We don’t want to encourage these bacteria, right? Well, we need to make sure that we do not give them what they are craving for or what they love most.

But do not fear, because if you have a very sweet tooth, we can offer you a solution that might work. You already know that sugar demineralizes the enamel of your teeth, causing them to weaken, but you can use an alternative.

OK, it might not be exactly the same, but replacing saccharose with another type of sweetener with a lower capacity to be metabolized and converted into acid will allow you to continue enjoying sweet food.

Azúcar en café

Priority: ensuring perfect oral hygiene

Maintaining a healthy mouth requires time and patience, but it is essential to look after your health.

Therefore, it is very important to use the correct type of toothbrush and the necessary tools such as dental floss or mouthwashes.

However, to maintain an optimal level of oral hygiene, it is not enough to brush our teeth 2 or 3 times a day. You also need to make sure that the interdental spaces are totally free of bacteria.

These gaps are the most dangerous ones because this is where food debris and plaque accumulate, and these can cause infections that put our oral health at risk.

Visit your dentist; he or she is missing you

The notion of visiting any health specialist always creates a certain level of fear and apprehension, but you cannot avoid your dentist. Your dentist’s only objective is to guide you and help you look after your oral health and prevent tooth decay.

Therefore, you should start by arranging regular visits to your dentist; your oral health will be grateful for it.

You do not have to visit your dentist every month, going at least once or twice a year to have your oral health checked and to have your mouth cleaned professionally will usually be enough.

Visita a tu dentista

Fluoride; our big ally

If you want to keep tooth decay at bay, you will have to consolidate your relationship with fluoride. But do not worry because you will find this very easy to do because this component is present in most toothpastes and mouthwashes.

What are its advantages? This ingredient strengthens dental enamel while increasing resistance to demineralization. In this way, tooth decay is attacked.

Having said that, you should keep one thing in mind: using fluoride mouthwashes is not a substitute for brushing. Mouthwashes are supplements to help us achieve optimal oral hygiene, but they should never replace brushing.

To make sure everything is working well, fill any cracks

If your tooth enamel is cracked, you will have to seal it as soon as possible to prevent tooth decay from developing further. This technique will form a barrier to protect the most sensitive area of your teeth.

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