Are you worried about tooth decay? Tooth decay affects all age brackets from kids to senior citizens. It starts when you consume any food or beverage except water. The food particles then mix with saliva, creating a sticky film that feeds the bacteria in your mouth. When the bacteria eat the food particles, they multiply rapidly, creating an acid attack that wears away the enamel on your teeth. If this process isn’t stopped via regular brushing and flossing, it can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent tooth decay and maintain a healthy mouth.
The first step to preventing tooth decay is to brush and floss your teeth regularly. If you have children, it’s important to instill good at-home oral hygiene at a young age and oversee their morning and evening teeth cleaning habits and techniques. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush in order to prevent gum damage and flossing once every 24 hours. Individuals on this schedule often brush their teeth once in the morning after breakfast and once at night before bed. You can choose to floss your teeth in the morning or evening. Just remember to floss every day in order to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth.
It’s important to remember that you can brush your teeth more than once a day. Our dentist recommends brushing after each meal as well as in the morning and at night. Just remember to wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking anything that isn’t water. This is because when you eat, the bacteria in your mouth create an acid attack, which can last between 20 and 30 minutes after you take your last bite. If you brush your teeth too soon after eating, you may push the acid into your enamel, causing more damage than if you didn’t brush your teeth at all after eating.
If you have braces or clear aligners that you are using to straighten your teeth, you will have to brush after each meal in order to remove food particles from around the brackets and wires or before inserting your clear aligners. Failing to brush after each meal can result in tooth decay along the edges of the brackets. For individuals with clear aligners, failing to brush before you insert your clear aligners can result in your teeth getting bathed in acid, food particles and bacteria, which can increase the likelihood of tooth decay and cavities.