What is Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is when the tooth structure, which includes the enamel (outer coating) and the dentin layer (inner layer), breaks down. This is caused when bacteria, acid, food debris and saliva combine to form plaque that can create holes in the teeth (cavities).
Cavities have to be filled by dentists, who place composite fillings that match the tooth’s original color. Of course, you can avoid cavities (and fillings) by following good dental hygiene practices.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
First, brush your teeth three times a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride. It’s always a good idea, if possible, to brush after meals and before going to bed. If you can’t brush after eating, then try to rinse your mouth out with water.
According to the American Dental Association, you should also use a mouth rinse containing fluoride.
Also, use dental floss on your teeth daily. Flossing should lift out food between teeth and near the gum line. This helps prevent cavities and gum disease.
You can also avoid eating foods with too much sugar, which can remain on the tooth surface. If you eat sticky foods, try to brush your teeth soon afterwards.
Another way to combat tooth decay is with dental sealants, which is a plastic protective coating that is applied to the surfaces of the back teeth. A dental sealant seals off the nooks, crannies and grooves in the back teeth from plaque and bacteria.
Visit Your Buena Park Dentist
Schedule a dental exam and cleaning to check if you have any signs of tooth decay. Talk to our dentist about ways to treat or prevent it. Call (714) 994-6911 to make an appointment with our experienced and knowledgeable dentist.