Scare Away Tooth Decay this Halloween

Cavities result from tooth decay. What is tooth decay? It reflects damage to the enamel surface on teeth. Bacteria fills our mouths – both good and bad. The bacteria contribute to tooth decay when it binds with food particles to create a sticky layer called plaque. The bacterium in plaque turns the sugars and starches you eat into acids in your mouth. These acids eat away at your enamel. Plaque contributes to tooth decay and leads to gum irritation and disease. What’s more, if left untreated, tooth decay causes pain, infection, and tooth loss. So, with Halloween (and loads of sugar) right around the corner, how can you take care of your teeth?

At Home

Visit the dentist at least twice a year to stay on top of oral health. Here are additional steps to take at home to reduce the likelihood of more serious dental care.

  • Brush
  • Floss
  • Rinse
  • Use mouthwash

Brush 

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time each morning and night. Plaque forms in a matter of hours. Brushing your teeth in the morning and evening prevents plaque buildup by removing it before it hardens and morphs into tartar. Also, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Brush at the front, back, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Also, change toothbrushes every 3-6 months to prevent under-brushing with weak or damaged bristles.

Floss

Floss at least once a day before you brush, whether in the morning or afternoon. Flossing reaches the spaces between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot. So, this aids in plaque and food removal. Food stuck between teeth not only leads to cavities but causes bad breath.

Rinse

After brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash. This aids in the reduction of plaque and help prevent cavities. Most people get fluoride from myriad sources, such as toothpaste and drinking water. Fluoride, along with saliva, helps teeth repair themselves. It replaces the minerals lost throughout the day when eating sugary and starchy foods and drinks.

Routine Dental Visits

While you may be able to detect a cavity on your own, a dentist diagnostic tools including X-ray. Start taking your child to the dentist six months after their get their first tooth. Frequent check-ups and cleanings help maintain oral hygiene and prevent late diagnoses of tooth decay. Your dental hygienist and dentist can discuss the measures necessary for optimal oral hygiene.

About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora

Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.