If you brush regularly and still don’t get a clean bill of health from your dentist, you may wonder what the causes of tooth decay may be. While brushing is important, it's certainly not the only part of a comprehensive oral hygiene routine. There are many important steps you should take to keep your teeth and mouth healthy, which will protect you against the numerous causes of tooth decay.
The Scientific Causes of Tooth Decay
The basic scientific causes of tooth decay stem from the combination of bacteria and food. Plaque that forms on your teeth contains bacteria, which utilizes sugars in the foods you eat and produce acid. This acid attacks your teeth and destroys its enamel. Combined, these are the basic causes of tooth decay.
Preventable Causes of Tooth Decay
Now that you know the science behind tooth decay, what can you do to prevent it? Some preventable causes of tooth decay are listed here.
- Not brushing your teeth enough. You should brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day. In an ideal world, you’d brush after every meal or beverage.
- Forgetting the importance of flossing.Using dental floss to remove food particles and prevent the formation of plaque is one of the best ways to avoid tooth decay.
- Eating or drinking too much sugar. Eating sugary foods and beverages are easily preventable causes of tooth decay. Sugary foods that stay on your teeth feed bacteria and acid that eat away at the enamel of your teeth. The worst offenders are soda, candy, caramel, taffy, sugary cereals, and raisins. Avoid these products to keep your teeth healthy.
- You don’t have enough fluoride in your water. Fluoride is an important way to prevent tooth decay. Most community water sources have enough fluoride, but if not, you may want to talk with your dentist about fluoride supplements or treatments.
- You don’t visit the dentist regularly. Professional dental care is an important supplement to your at-home oral hygiene regimen. Professional cleanings help remove plaque you can’t get at home. Dental exams help identify tooth decay at its first sign, which can help prevent further causes of tooth decay and help improve your overall oral health.
Other Tips to Prevent Major Causes of Tooth Decay
- Change Your Toothbrush Regularly: You should change your toothbrush every three to four months to keep it in peak condition for removing plaque.
- Use Mouthwash: Using mouthwash can help remove plaque and bacteria in hard to reach locations and can therefore help prevent causes of tooth decay.
Avoiding the causes of tooth decay can help you maintain a healthier, brighter, whiter smile and give you a great sense of self-confidence. A healthier smile will also help you make a great first impression.