How to Prevent Tooth Decay!

Tooth Decay describes the break down of strong healthy teeth over time. Your tooth's surface is composed of a hard mineral coating called enamel. Enamel is the hardest tissue in your body, but by no means indestructible. Actually, enamel is exposed to bacteria all day which produce plaque. Plaque is the substance that covers your teeth and eats away at the enamel causing the holes known as cavities.

Brushing your teeth, flossing and regular dental visits will help keep plaque under control. Leaving plaque on your teeth leads to tartar buildup which brushing and flossing alone can not remove. Letting plaque get out of control can lead to many oral problems ranging from bad breath and cavities to gum recession Periodontal disease and tooth loss.

Even teeth with fillings aren't immune to plaque. The acidic substance damages fillings and other dental work and can lead to future problems.

Under your enamel is a layer of the tooth made of dentin. Dentin is also high in mineral content, but much softer and more vulnerable to plaque. Once a cavity has reached this layer it starts effecting blood vessels and eventually the root. This is why dentists often fill small cavities long before they reach a level where they become problematic.

Prevention is the key:

The bacteria in your mouth produce plaque throughout the day, especially after meals. The highest plaque production comes after eating foods high in sugars, carbs and starch. To protect yourself from the damage plaque can cause or limit your teeth's exposure to plaque there are some simple steps you can take:

Brush your teeth after every meal (a toothbrush at the office is a great idea, besides oral health it will help get rid of the garlic you had for lunch) floss or use an equivalent tool for cleaning between teeth, especially in the morning and before bed if you chew gum, make sure it is sugarless, chewing gum after a meal will freshen your breath as well as encourage saliva production for flushing away plaque causing bacteria and sugar attached to your teeth. Enjoy a healthy diet low in sugars and balanced nutritionally.

If you enjoy a sugary snack, have it with a meal.

Visit your dentist regularly, and if you are prone to cavities, ask about dental sealants and other preventative treatments By keeping your teeth, gums and mouth clean, you will enjoy a healthy smile for years to come. Plus, baring any accidents or other misfortunes, most of your teeth will really be "your teeth".