5 Easy Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay
As an adult, your permanent teeth are the only set of chompers you have, which is why it’s extremely important to take care of them. Otherwise, you could face disastrous consequences, such as receded gums and tooth loss.
Here are a few easy tips to prevent tooth decay in your adult years:
1. Brush and floss daily – As ho-hum as this advice may sound, it’s one of the most important tips you can follow from this list. Brushing and flossing is not elective; it’s essential for your oral health. A proper oral health routine can help avoid tooth decay and gum disease.
2. Get your fluoride – This advice isn’t just for kids. It’s important for adults to also get enough fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral that helps to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. If you’re not able to drink fluoridated water (most public water supplies ensure fluoridated water), then be sure to use a fluoridated toothpaste.
3. Quit tobacco, limit alcohol – Tobacco use does a real number on your mouth, putting you at risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Drinking too much alcohol also puts you at risk for oral cancers. Put the two vices together and you’ve got a ticking time bomb of dental and health issues. So take care to quit all tobacco use and limit alcohol intake as much as possible.
4. Avoid dry mouth –Saliva is vital because it contains minerals that help your teeth stay strong and combats the effects of tooth decay. If you suffer from dry mouth, which is the severe decrease in saliva flow in the mouth, visit your general dentist or your primary care physician immediately for possible treatments. In the meantime, try to counteract dry mouth by chewing sugarless gum (this helps to generate saliva flow), drinking water, and steering clear of tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.
5. Eat your veggies – Here’s another tip that’s not just for the kids. As an adult, you should be eating at least five servings of vegetables and fruits a day. This is because the fiber in certain produce (pears, broccoli, corn, raspberries, strawberries, apples, and bananas) helps to stimulate saliva flow, which helps prevent tooth decay. But take note that fruits contain natural sugars, so it’s important to brush your teeth soon after enjoying them as a snack or with a meal.
6. Visit the dentist regularly – Your dentist will recommend you visit every six months to ensure you aren’t experiencing tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, or other problems. Even if you don’t have insurance, prevention is much more affordable than correction, and catching issues in time can offer the chance for reversal of potentially serious problems.