Knowing that good dental hygiene is the key to preventing tooth decay can make it seem easy. However, tooth decay is so common that a majority of adults have experienced in it at least one of their teeth at some point in their lives, and many different factors contribute to why. Today, we outline a brief guide to preventing tooth decay successfully, and why many people fail at least once in protecting their teeth from its development.
How a tooth starts to decay
Tooth decay is a complex process, and what it means can be different for everyone. In its earliest stages, tooth decay starts with the erosion of your healthy tooth enamel. This is the highly mineralized protective layer that surrounds your teeth and protects them from things like harmful oral bacteria. Incidentally, oral bacteria are also the cause of tooth infection (or decay), and they begin the process by producing acids to systematically weaken tooth enamel. Therefore, the most important aspect of preventing tooth decay is to prevent the excessive erosion of your tooth enamel and stopping oral bacteria from reaching a tooth’s main structure.
What it takes to prevent it
The core concept of keeping your teeth clean and preventing tooth decay seems simple, even if it can seem mundane. However, brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once are essential for consistently removing the bacteria that gather on your teeth and try to infect them. It’s the consistency of a dental hygiene routine that’s often its weak spot. Skipping it just once may not seem like a big deal, but it’s all some oral bacteria need to begin the process of tooth decay. In addition to consistent hygiene, things like eating and drinking too much sugar can promote faster enamel erosion, which will increase your risks of developing decay.
The importance of being consistent
Consistency in cleaning your teeth is important to preventing the excess bacteria buildup that leads to tooth decay, and it’s just as important in every other aspect of caring for your smile. For instance, your teeth need a consistent supply of essential minerals and nutrients, like calcium, to replenish their enamel after it’s been weakened by oral bacteria. Your teeth’s supportive tissues and bone structure also rely on healthy nutrition to remain strong and healthy to continue supporting your smile. The best way to avoid developing tooth decay is to remain consistent both in your dental hygiene routine and in limiting other risks to your teeth.
Learn more about preventing tooth decay
Despite the fact that tooth decay is the most common oral health concern, it can be successfully prevented with the right care and maintenance. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry in Lake Orion, MI, today at 248-693-6213.