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What Causes Tooth Decay and How You Can Prevent It

March 15, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — tntadmin @ 4:39 pm

smiling family portraitOne of the primary concerns of your general dentist is preventing tooth decay and gum disease. With an excellent oral hygiene routine at home and regular checkups and cleanings, you can keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy for years and years to come. Fighting tooth decay in Midland requires knowing what causes it — keep reading to learn more about why it occurs and what you need to do to stop it.

Tooth Decay Caused by Bacteria Buildup

Your mouth is full of bacteria, both good and bad. When the acids and sugars in what you eat combine with the bad bacteria, they form plaque, or the sticky substance that you can scratch off your teeth with your fingernail. The result is potentially damaging if it is left to linger on the surface of the teeth to form tartar, which gradually weakens the tooth enamel until a lesion or cavity forms.

A cavity needs to be restored promptly with a filling. Delaying treatment may lead to a root canal or a tooth extraction. If it seems like you have had more cavities than your friends and family, despite a good oral hygiene routine, don’t stress. Some people are more prone to cavities than others — it just means that you should be especially vigilant about prevention.

Preventing Cavities Is Easy

The good news is that it is not so difficult to prevent cavities, as long as you put in the appropriate effort. Protecting your smile against tooth decay requires proper oral hygiene at home and regular visits to your general dentist.

The steps of a healthy smile include:

  • Brushing teeth for two minutes, after each meal or at least twice daily
  • Using a fluoride toothpaste (especially important for the cavity-prone)
  • Rinsing with alcohol-free mouthwash after brushing and flossing
  • Flossing between teeth or using a waterpik once daily
  • Schedule and attend a checkup and cleaning with your dentist at least once every six months
  • Maintain a balanced, nutritious, low-sugar diet

Care for Your Smile this Summer

Patients of all ages should have a checkup and cleaning with their dentist at least every six months. When was the last time you had your teeth looked at? If it’s been awhile, don’t worry — it’s never too late to recommit to your oral health. Go ahead and contact your dentist in Midland to schedule an appointment. Healthy smiles require regular prevention!

Meet the Dentist

Dr. Robert E. Christensen is a general and family dentist offering comprehensive dental care for friends and neighbors in and around Midland. He builds all treatment plans with a strong focus on prevention. To learn more about preventive dentistry or to schedule an appointment for you or a loved one, contact the “dentist near me” you are searching for by calling 432-684-7424 today.

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