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Studies indicate that over 25% of United States adults have untreated tooth decay.
Plaque, the sticky substance that remains on the tooth from irregular or incorrect tooth brushing, causes cavities, decay, and gum disease. Genetics and age can also play a role, but a qualified Dallas dentist can treat these common dental problems effectively.
There are several easy steps men and women can take to prevent tooth and gum decay.
First, it’s important to choose the right toothbrush. With the wrong toothbrush, the tooth enamel can get worn down prematurely, leading to sensitivity and an increased risk of cavities. Gum tissue can also get pulled away from the surface of the tooth with the wrong brush. This can lead to infection and gingivitis.
When brushes are manufactured, the bristles are rounded to soft domes. When the brush gets old and the bristles splay, the bristles become like tiny, serrated knives scraping against the surface of the tooth. Once the enamel gets scratched or worn down, the softer inner layers of the tooth are unprotected, and bacteria can get in there and wreak havoc on the exposed tooth.
When brushing, angle the brush at 45 degrees. Do not brush across the surface of the tooth without angling the brush. The tooth will not get adequately cleaned if the brush isn’t angled.
For people with disabilities, a mechanical toothbrush is just as effective as an analog one. There are dozens of affordable mechanical toothbrushes on the market for people who cannot brush their teeth by hand.
Brush the teeth two to three times per day, for two to three minutes. Any more than that and the tooth enamel can get worn down, leading to sensitivity.
The teeth can be flossed as often as needed. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once per day.
Limit the consumption of sugary foods and beverages. The same bacteria that causes plaque feeds off the enzymes in sugary foods and drinks. The bacteria, while it consumes the enzymes, produces an acid, and this acid wears down the tooth enamel and inflames the gum tissues.
Sugary foods and drinks really have no discernable health benefits, and it’s best to limit their consumption or completely cut them from the diet.
Finally, see a dentist at regular intervals. This is the best way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease and to fix any dental problems before they become extremely painful or expensive to treat.
People with a low risk of cavities or gum problems should see a dentist for regular cleanings and checkups once or twice a year. For someone with more dental problems or has a higher risk of disease, a visit to your trusted Dallas dentist every three to four months is recommended.
A qualified dentist can help guide patients in practicing better oral hygiene, preventing the start of decay and disease. People who see a dentist regularly have a much lower risk of dental and oral health problems over the course of their lifetime, regardless of age and the role of genetics in tooth health.