Can You Reverse Tooth Decay?
If you have ever run your tongue over your teeth and felt a hole in one of your teeth, then there is a good chance that you have encountered a cavity. Caused by tooth decay, cavities are extremely common, with over 90 percent of adults having some degree of tooth decay. Once tooth decay begins, stopping it and preventing it from getting worse can be a challenge, but fortunately, it is not impossible. We here at Century Dental believe that teaching our patients how to prevent and reverse tooth decay can help preserve their teeth in the long run.
How Can I Reverse My Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is caused by a variety of factors, but the biggest culprit is sugar and bacteria. When you eat sugary foods, they feed the bacteria in your mouth. All mouths have bacteria in them, but they tend to grow and reproduce faster in the presence of sweet foods. Once the bacteria start to build up, it can develop a sticky, filmy residue that clings to your teeth. This residue is known as plaque and is the reason that tooth decay occurs. If you fail to remove this plaque regularly, the germs inside it can release toxins and acids that start to erode at your dental enamel.
Your dental enamel is generally quite strong and acts as a protective barrier for your teeth to prevent germs from getting to the softer dentin and pulp inside it. However, the longer the plaque sits against your teeth, the greater the likelihood that you will develop tooth decay. To prevent this from occurring in the first place, you need to remove all plaque from your teeth. This can be done by making sure you follow a strict oral hygiene regimen at home. You need to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day.
Brush your teeth for two minutes each time with a soft-bristled toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Use a fluoridated toothbrush to help remineralize your teeth and strengthen weak spots in your enamel. You can floss either morning or evening. Use an 18-inch length of dental floss and floss your teeth in a C-shape, working the floss between your teeth to remove all trapped food, debris, and plaque. Make sure you work it up under your gums, too, to get everything out from underneath them.
In addition to brushing and flossing, you can also reverse tooth decay with a healthy diet. Certain foods can help your teeth be stronger and less prone to cavities. Vitamin K is especially key to reversing tooth decay, and you can find it in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower. Foods rich in calcium are also great for reversing tooth decay. You can find it in fortified soy products (like tofu or soymilk), but milk, yogurt, and cheese are also good options.
Schedule An Appointment
We can also help you reverse your tooth decay. We advise that you schedule an appointment with us every six months for a checkup and a cleaning and if we spot any weakness in your enamel, we can offer a fluoride treatment to help keep your teeth strong and healthy. To learn more, or to set up your appointment with us today, give us here at Century Dental at (971) 708-1608!