Can You Reverse Tooth Decay?
Many of us believe that once a cavity starts to form, our tooth is doomed. After all, we all know someone or have personally had a dental filling placed in a tooth that had tooth decay. Many of our patients are surprised, therefore, to realize that tooth decay does not have to automatically mean that you will have a huge, gaping hole in your tooth. Not only can you prevent tooth decay from forming in the first place, we here at Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry are happy to teach you how to stop existing tooth decay in its tracks before it gets worse!
How Can I Stop My Tooth Decay from Getting Worse?
One of the leading causes of tooth decay is bacteria. Your mouth is teeming with millions of bacteria, and when these bacteria get trapped against your teeth, that is when tooth decay begins. Certain foods can encourage the growth of bacteria, such as sugary foods and drinks like soft drinks, cookies, and candies. While these foods may taste good to eat, they are quite terrible for your teeth! If your dental bacteria continue to grow and reproduce, they may get stuck against your teeth in a sticky, filmy layer called plaque.
It is incredibly important that you remove plaque from your teeth to prevent tooth decay from forming. The bacteria in plaque release toxins and acids that are quite harmful to your dental enamel. Your dental enamel is the hardest material in your body, but it is no match against ongoing exposure to bacteria. To remove plaque, you must take care to brush, floss, and use mouthwash.
You need to brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. Brush for two minutes each time, both morning and night, at a 45-degree angle to your gums. After you brush, you must floss. Start with a piece of floss that is 18-inches long and work it between each tooth carefully, using a clean segment of floss per tooth. Make sure you get the floss up under your gumline, too, to remove all trapped food and plaque. Antibacterial mouthwash is also helpful to kill any remaining germs.
Your diet can also help reverse tooth decay. While foods like sugar can make it worse, if you eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, you can keep your teeth healthy and strong. Leafy green plants are great for your teeth and are full of beneficial vitamins that can help keep your smile healthy. Reach for fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C and Vitamin K, like red peppers, oranges, broccoli, and kale. Dairy is full of calcium, which we all know is important for strong bones and teeth. You can find lots of calcium in milk, yogurt, and cheese. For people with a dairy allergy, you can also find calcium in fortified foods like tofu and soymilk.
Reversing tooth decay is something that we can help with, too. We can offer a fluoride treatment in our office to help prevent soft spots from getting worse. Routine checkups with cleanings, every six months, can also help stop tooth decay from forming in the first place. To schedule a dental exam with cleaning at our office, please give us here at Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry a call at 360-659-8100, 360-863-8700, 425-367-4149, 360-339-8000 today!