When it comes to having good oral hygiene and healthy teeth, it is never too early to learn about the dangers of tooth decay and how to encourage optimal oral health. Oral hygiene is not only good for your teeth and gums, but it also contributes to your overall health and well-being. When you have a healthy smile and are free from gum disease, the rest of your body will be positively impacted.

Tooth decay or cavity is one of the most common oral health issues dentists see in their family or pediatric dentistry practice. It is also one of the easiest issues to prevent. Tooth decay can be very painful and uncomfortable, even for kids losing their baby teeth. Preventing tooth decay from occurring will ensure healthy teeth and gums and optimal oral health for years to come.

What Is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay (cavities) is characterized by permanent damage to the hard surfaces of your teeth. This damage turns into tiny holes in the teeth and can become very painful, especially if allowed to progress into severe tooth decay, infections, and tooth loss. Cavities continue to worsen unless taken care of by a dental professional.

Dental cleanings and proper oral hygiene care prevent tooth decay and contribute to good oral health in people of all ages. You may be experiencing tooth decay if you are dealing with toothaches, tooth sensitivity, pain when eating or drinking, visible holes in the teeth, stains on the surface of the teeth (brown, black, or white), and pain when biting down.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

It is an unfortunate reality that tooth decay can affect your ability to have a healthy smile. Tooth decay may not be obvious at first, so it is important to catch it early with regular dental checkups. Any kind of oral disease, including cavities, can be detrimental to your overall health, so it is integral that you work diligently to prevent cavities from forming, no matter your age.

Some effective ways of preventing cavities that are recommended by our Homewood, AL, dental office include:

Maintain an Effective At-Home Dental Care Routine

Daily, it would help if you were in charge of your oral health by maintaining good oral hygiene regimens at home. That includes brushing your teeth at least twice per day with fluoride toothpaste and using dental floss once per day to ensure there are no food particles or debris in the crevices of your teeth. That debris can lead to bacteria which causes tooth decay and reduces your dental health.

Watch What You Eat

Foods that have a high sugar content are especially bad for dental health. Sugar can be detrimental to tooth enamel and should be cleaned away from the teeth as soon as possible after consuming sugary foods or beverages.

It is also recommended that you eat crisp and fibrous foods such as fruits and vegetables. These types of food encourage saliva production, which helps to clean teeth, and the crunchiness also helps remove tartar and plaque built up on the tooth enamel. All of this contributes to a healthy smile and good oral health.

Learn about Tooth Decay, Tooth Enamel, and Good Oral Hygiene

The more you know about the connection between good oral hygiene, tooth decay, and tooth enamel, the better prepared you will be when determining your good oral hygiene routine at home. It is especially important for pediatric dentistry because children need to learn as early as possible how critical it is to connect oral hygiene to a healthy smile.

Consider Dental Sealant, Especially for Kids

Dental sealants add an extra layer of protection to children’s teeth where bacteria could build up and cause decay to begin. It is a proactive approach to oral health and can be done during your regular dental hygiene visit.

Visit Your Family Dentist Regularly

In addition to your at-home oral hygiene regimen of brushing and flossing, it is important to visit your general, family, and pediatric dentistry expert in the Birmingham, AL, area regularly. Most dentists recommend making a dental appointment every six months for optimal oral hygiene.

Adults lose teeth regularly when they do not follow a good dental care routine to strengthen teeth and maintain their oral health. Your dental hygienists collaborate with your doctor to determine the best oral hygiene treatments for you and your family. Cleanings, examinations, x-rays, and oral cancer screenings are all a part of the dental care you will receive at our Homewood, AL, dentist at Shades Creek Dental.

Contact Our Homewood, AL, Oral Health Experts

If you are a resident of Homewood, AL, looking for a family or pediatric dentistry expert, our oral hygiene team at Shades Creek Dental is here for you and your family. We are happy to offer a wide variety of dental procedures for you and your child’s oral health.

At Shades Creek Dental, we offer general dentistry treatments for your and your child’s teeth, including oral cancer screenings and professional cleanings. We also serve patients who need cosmetic or restorative services such as dental implants, dentures, or porcelain veneers.

Our team is happy to provide you with patient education concerning your daily oral hygiene, ways to prevent oral disease, and information about your children’s developing teeth. The many health benefits of eliminating harmful bacteria from your teeth and improving oral hygiene are clear, and our dental team wants to share those advantages with our patients.

Contact us today to set up an appointment with our team or a consult to discuss your dental problems and how we can help through regular dental visits and our gum disease preventative care. Call now to find out more about the Shades Creek difference!