The most common non-communicable disease globally is dental caries (also known as tooth decay or dental cavities).
Severe dental caries hurt the overall health and frequently cause pain and infection, which may necessitate tooth extraction. Dental caries affect everyone, but children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable. Nearly half of the world’s population suffers from dental caries, making it the most common health condition.
Dental caries develop over time; acid production from bacterial sugar metabolism causes loss of tooth substance (enamel and dentine). Early stages of dental caries are often asymptomatic, but advanced settings can cause pain, infections and abscesses, and even sepsis.
Damage to the tooth’s outer layer, the enamel, is meant by the term “tooth decay.” Acids produced by oral bacteria damage the enamel of your teeth. Tooth decay results in holes in your teeth referred to as cavities (dental caries). Tooth decay, if left untreated, can cause discomfort, infection, and even the loss of a tooth. After the common cold, tooth decay is the second most common disease.
One in every four adults has cavities, and more than half of Canadian teenagers have cavities. Oral health is frequently overlooked, but it is a critical component of our daily lives. It’s never too late to take charge of your oral health and avoid dental issues.
While brushing and flossing are two of the most important daily habits for keeping your teeth and gums healthy, you can do a few other simple things to avoid toothaches or tooth loss. Here are some ideal oral health habits that most people can do to prevent cavities.
- Brush your teeth regularly, using the proper brush
This is the most obvious tip, and you’ve probably been hearing it since you were too small to ride the big rides. But first, let us explain why it is critical for your oral health and overall health.
Bacteria grow by feeding on the sugars in the foods and drinks we consume, leaving behind waste in a biofilm known as dental plaque. This plaque allows those little recyclers to linger on your teeth for longer, eventually producing acids that wear down the tooth enamel and cause cavities. Brushing your teeth is +one of the simplest yet most effective ways to prevent cavities because it removes significant bacteria and plaque in just a few minutes per day. Brush your teeth after meals and before going to bed.
Brushing before bed (or after a late-night snack) is especially important because allowing bacteria to linger on your teeth overnight can cause enamel-damaging acid to form (ultimately leading to cavities).
Additionally, an antimicrobial mouthwash helps clean away bacteria while freshening the breath. Want to boost your bacteria-fighting abilities throughout the day? Brush your teeth after lunch at work. If possible, keep a separate toothbrush and paste kit at work to fill in the long gaps between morning and night.
- After each meal, rinse your mouth with water
It is always recommended to rinse your mouth with water after eating any food. Special oral care is required after eating snacks, sugary drinks, candy, or mints.
- Visit a dental clinic
Visit a dentist every six months for professional cleaning of your teeth. It helps prevent any forming decay early and rescues you from pain and money loss. A child’s first tooth appears; he or she should be taken to the dentist.
- Consume crunchy fruits and vegetables
Ready-to-eat foods are convenient, but they may not be good for your teeth. Fresh, crunchy produce contains more fibre, but it is also the best choice for your teeth as it does not stick to teeth and provides a cleansing effect. Thus, it can remove food that has been stuck into teeth grooves.
- Limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods
Do you require a morning latte, a daily cup of coffee, or a hot cup of tea? Prolonged exposure to acidic coffee or tea on your teeth, compounded by added sugar or even just added milk, can increase your risk of developing new cavities. Sugar eventually turns into acid in the mouth, which can erode the enamel of your teeth. These acids cause cavities. Acidic foods, teas, and coffee can all erode tooth enamel.
While you don’t have to avoid such foods entirely, it never hurts to be aware. Reduce your intake of sugary and acidic beverages, and drink more water. Go ahead and sip your coffee! However, keep it to 20 minutes or less, and then rinse your mouth with water. Try drinking coffee through a straw to keep those sugary liquids off your teeth and out of your saliva.
- Drinking fluoridated water
Water is unlike any other drink, and it is by far the healthiest option. Our bodies are 60% water, and staying hydrated helps your system distribute beneficial nutrients, eliminate waste, give your skin a healthy glow, and keep your muscles moving. Drinking water also helps keep your teeth healthy, especially if it’s fluoridated.
- Sip tea every day
Black tea contains compounds that kill bacteria that cause gum disease. However, make sure you have sugar-free tea or use a healthy sweetener. Sugar reduction aids in the prevention of oral plaque buildup, which causes bleeding gums and tooth decay. The acid in refined sugar erodes tooth enamel as well.
- Flossing is just as important as brushing
Many people who brush their teeth regularly fail to floss. Flossing can help remove food particles stuck between two teeth (the most common reason for tooth decay). Thus, do flossing at least once a day.
However, many factors contribute to decay even after taking care of the above-listed things. This happens due to poor habits.
Also Read: What are the Benefits of Tooth Extraction
Here is a list of common tooth decay habits that can harm your teeth.
1. Biting one’s nails
This nervous habit can chip teeth, harm the jaw, and expose your mouth to bacteria found under your nails. To reduce nail-biting, paint bitter nail polish or do meditation.
2. Do not make your teeth as tools
When you use your teeth for something other than what they were designed for, such as opening a bottle or cutting off a price tag, you risk cracking your teeth and causing food lodgement followed by decay or injuring your jaw. Keep simple tools in your hands, such as a bottle opener and scissors, to avoid the temptation to use your teeth.
3. Constant Snacking
When you eat, cavity-forming bacteria in your mouth feast on leftover food particles, producing acid that erodes your enamel and leads to decay. Rather than snacking frequently, eat balanced, protein-rich meals and drink plenty of water to wash away leftover food particles.
4. Grinding of the Teeth
The most common cause of bruxism, or the grinding of the teeth, is anxiety and stress. Teeth grinding is a leading cause of tooth decay and leaves them vulnerable to decay. Consult your doctor about a mouth guard, therapeutic Botox, or stress-relieving exercises.
5. Excessive Brushing
Brushing your teeth aggressively can irritate the gums, cause gum recession, erode tooth enamel, and cause tooth sensitivity. Use a soft toothbrush to avoid hard brushing and replace it every 3-4 months or when the bristles show signs of wear.
6. Tobacco Use
Cigarette smoking harms your heart and lungs and hurts your oral health. Smoking increases your risk of gum disease and causes tooth discolouration, bad breath, taste loss, tooth decay, tooth loss, and oral cancer. Your dentist can help you reduce the effects of smoking, but quitting is the best option.
Alcohol causes dry mouth. A lack of saliva can lead to bad breath because it inhibits the body’s ability to remove bacteria from the mouth and increases the likelihood of cavities developing. Furthermore, because alcohol is acidic, it wears away the enamel. Reduce your alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, or replace it with carbonated sparkling water.
Conclusion/What are the tooth decay treatments?
The dental clinic in Calgary provides all types of tooth decay treatments. The severity of the problem determines the treatment you receive:
- Treatments with fluoride. Fluoride treatment can help the enamel repair itself if you have early tooth decay.
- Fillings. If you have a typical cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed tooth tissue before filling the cavity with a filling material.
- Root canal treatment in Calgary. It is idea iF the tooth is damaged and the infection spreads to the pulp (inside the tooth), you may require a root canal. Your dentist will clean inside the tooth and root and remove the decayed pulp. The tooth will be filled with a temporary filling. Then you’ll need to return for a permanent filling or a crown (a cover on the tooth).
- Tooth extraction (pulling the tooth). When the pulp damage cannot be repaired, your dentist may recommend removing the tooth in the most severe cases. Tooth extraction in Calgary is performed when tooth-saving is not possible. Your dentist will recommend a bridge or implant to replace the missing tooth. Otherwise, the teeth adjacent to the gap may shift and alter your bite.