Tooth decay is a serious condition that can impact your ability to enjoy certain foods, negatively affect your oral health, and lower your quality of life. Fortunately, tooth decay can be prevented through oral hygiene and with the help of a dentist at Nevada Dentistry & Braces in Las Vegas, NV!
What Causes Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is a serious oral health condition in which the enamel covering the front of the teeth is worn down and the surface of the tooth exposed. The CDC estimates that 1 in 4 adults have untreated tooth decay, showing just how common this condition is.
Tooth decay can be the result of a variety of situations, including:
- The build-up of bacteria due to eating too much processed sugar or starches such as potatoes, rice, or varieties of bread
- Lack of flossing
- Not brushing teeth enough or improperly
- Natural plaque and tartar build-up
How Do I Know If I Need Dental Care?
The signs of tooth decay can be readily apparent in some cases. According to the ADA, some signs of tooth decay include:
- White spots on the outer surface of the teeth
- Loose fillings
- Bad breath (also known as halitosis)
- Tooth sensitivity to cold or hot foods
- Tooth pain
However, sometimes tooth decay isn’t readily apparent, putting you at risk of worsening or gaining more cavities. It’s important to visit your dentist regularly while continuing to act against cavities through preventative care.
Preventative Care for Tooth Decay
The best way to prevent tooth decay is to prevent plaque and tartar build-up, as this contains harmful bacteria that damage the teeth over time. The ADA recommends the following tips to prevent cavities:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day using ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a mineral that helps restore tooth enamel. Brush using a soft-bristle toothbrush for at least two minutes.
- Floss in between your teeth, as this ensures plaque stuck between the teeth is eliminated. Follow the adage, “Floss the teeth you want to keep!”
- Limit sugary beverages and foods, including starchy foods, as this can lead to bacteria build-up.
- Get treatment for dry mouth, as this can lead to increased plaque and cavities.
- Finally, make sure to visit your dentist regularly – twice a year, or every 6 months.
Finding Relief Through Our Dental Care Specialists
Tooth decay is incredibly common, yet it can severely impact your quality of life. If you notice signs of tooth decay and need help, call us today at Nevada Dentistry & Braces in Las Vegas, NV!