You can help prevent dental caries and gum disease by taking good care of your teeth every day and having regular dental checkups. Here’s how to keep your teeth and gums healthy:
Brush your teeth well twice a day. This removes the film of bacteria from the teeth. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is in good condition. Toothpastes and mouth rinses containing fluoride strengthen the teeth and help prevent decay.
Clean between your teeth every day. Cleaning between your teeth with floss or interdental cleaners removes bacteria and food particles from between the teeth, where a toothbrush can’t reach. Early gum disease can often be reversed by daily brushing and flossing. If you use interdental cleaners, ask your dentist how to use them properly, to avoid injuring your gums.
Eat a balanced diet. Choose a variety of foods from the basic food groups, such as breads, cereals and other grain products; fruits; vegetables; meat, poultry and fish; and dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Limit between-meal snacks. Visit your dentist and oral hygienist regularly, because it is important to have regular dental checkups, and professional cleaning is essential to prevent periodontal diseases!
Protect the teeth by sealants. Sealants are like an insurance policy against cavities. Molars have tiny grooves in their surface which are difficult to clean with a toothbrush. Because food can collect in these grooves, bacteria also tend to live there. The result can be cavities which occur in spite of regular brushing. Sealants are an easy solution to this problem. Usually recommended for children, sealants effectively seal the grooves in back teeth protecting them from decay causing bacteria. The result is fewer molar cavities in patients who have sealants.