Dietary choices make a huge difference in your risk of developing tooth decay and cavities. In fact, eating a diet that is rich in tooth-healthy vitamins and minerals can actually help to reverse early-stay tooth decay! Our team believes in empowering our patients to do all they can to improve their oral health naturally through diet and lifestyle. Read on to learn how decay occurs and how you can improve your oral health with healthy eating and oral hygiene.
How Cavities Happen
Tooth decay begins when teeth are consistently exposed to dietary sugar and refined carbohydrates. Bad oral bacteria feed off sugar, multiply, and accumulate into a film of sticky plaque on the surface of teeth and along the gumline. These bacteria produce acids that weaken and strip minerals from tooth enamel, the outer layer of teeth. Eventually, the demineralized enamel will form pits and holes, called cavities, indicating permanent damage.
Advanced tooth decay and cavities require treatment by a dentist to prevent further damage and pain. Treatment ranges from simple fillings to root canal therapy to extraction, depending on the severity of damage. Before the cavity forms, however, early tooth decay can be identified by white spots on your teeth. At this stage, tooth decay is in the early demineralization stage and can be reversed with great dental hygiene and healthy foods.
How to Help Reverse Decay with Healthy Eating
First, cut back on sugary foods and beverages, as well as heavily refined carbohydrates, to reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth. Consume a variety of foods with calcium and phosphorus, like dairy products, nuts, and vegetables, to help strengthen both your bones and your teeth. Drink plenty of fluoridated water to remineralize and rinse your teeth with each sip.
Never Forget Your Oral Hygiene
But simply eating healthy can’t completely reverse early-stage tooth decay. Daily oral hygiene is critical! Brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes each session with a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps fortify your enamel’s crystalline mineral structure, your tooth’s first defense against decay. Floss between your teeth at least once every day. Additionally, keep up with routine dental checkups with our friendly team.
Your Family Dentist in Littleton, CO
Achieve and maintain a strong smile with a balanced diet, adequate hydration, daily oral hygiene, and routine dental visits to Summit Family Dentistry. Let us know if you have additional questions about promoting optimal oral health and preventing tooth decay. We can also make sure your mouth is healthy and cavity-free. Contact us today to schedule your next checkup!