How to Stop and Reverse Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is the slow destruction of the tooth surface, which can lead to cavities, abscesses, and even tooth loss. Plaque is the root cause of tooth decay. This clear, sticky film comprised of bacteria, acid, and food particles clings to the surface of your teeth and causes damage over time. If left untreated, plaque hardens into tartar, a brown, gum-irritating substance that requires professional dental cleaning to remove.
The key to stopping and reversing tooth decay is to remove plaque from your teeth every day so it doesn’t have time to form tartar. Better yet, prevent plaque from forming in the first place by adjusting your diet and oral care routine. Here’s what we recommend.
- Brush your teeth: Every morning and evening, brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. If possible, brush after meals as well.
- Floss: Remove stubborn particles and plaque from between your teeth with dental floss. Flossing also stimulates your gums and removes hard-to-reach bacteria from along the gum line.
- Rinse with mouthwash: Choose a fluoride rinse to strengthen your teeth. Look for products with antiseptic ingredients as well, which kill plaque-causing bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Eat tooth-friendly foods: Add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet to help scrub your teeth and increase saliva flow while you eat. Then, limit your intake of sweets, including candy, cookies, juice, and soda.
- Avoid frequent snacking and sipping: Your saliva doesn’t have a chance to rinse away food particles if you snack or drink sugary beverages all day. Snacks that get stuck in your teeth—such as bread, crackers, and potato chips—are particularly detrimental.
- Chew sugar-free gum after meals: If brushing isn’t an option, the next best thing is to chew sugarless gum. Xylitol-sweetened chewing gum is especially beneficial. It tastes sweet, but xylitol doesn’t convert into acid in the mouth, reducing the level of decay-causing bacteria in your saliva.
- Drink tap water: The tap water in NYC is fluoridated. Drinking and rinsing your mouth out with this water is an effortless way to help stop tooth decay.
- Visit your dentist regularly for routine cleanings and exams: No amount of at-home care can replace visiting the dentist. Only professional tools can remove tartar and restore your smile. Plus, exams are important for catching and treating minor dental problems before they become more serious.
- Ask your dentist about fluoride treatment: All children and adults with a high risk of tooth decay should seek fluoride treatment. This is available from your dentist, so bring it up at your next appointment.
If it’s been more than six months since you last saw a dentist, visit Park 56 Dental in NYC for a routine cleaning and exam. We offer personalized tips to stop and reverse tooth decay, making it easy to maintain your healthy, beautiful smile. Call us at (212) 826-2322 today or contact us online to schedule your appointment. You’ll love the spa-like experience we provide!