There’s an ongoing war waged right in your mouth. It’s you against the bacteria hiding inside plaque and tartar. If left unchecked by a good routine in oral hygiene, bacteria gets a foothold in your territory. As early as twenty minutes after you eat, bacteria feed off leftover food particles, reproducing quickly. They then release acid that softens and eats away the enamel of your teeth. After a campaign of successful attacks, bacteria end up digging a “foxhole” in your teeth. You now have what’s commonly called a cavity.
Like a breach in a castle wall, cavities allow bacteria to spill in and attack the vulnerable insides of your teeth. Eventually, your teeth collapse as their structure decays. Even worse, decay from one cavity can jump over to other teeth, spreading more destruction. While all this is going on, the nerves in your teeth come under attack. That means toothaches and sharp pain.
But aren’t cavities just for kids who eat too much candy? No! Sure, poor diet and brushing technique might make kids more susceptible, but plaque and bacteria are naturally occurring substances regardless of age. They feed off any sugary, sticky or carb-high foods stuck between your teeth. The war keeps on right through adulthood. If you don’t fight the battles, this war will be lost, and likely your teeth as well.
To Arms Against Oral Bacteria
Take heart, soldier — we have modern weapons to fight this war, and strategies proven effective against the enemy.
- Keep an eye on your diet. Reduce your sugar and refined carb intake (think pastries and donuts) to effectively cut off the supply lines for bacteria.
- Floss at least once daily, before you brush, to dislodge food particles and plaque.
- A soft-bristled toothbrush sweeps away the food particles and plaque, slowing tartar buildup. With added features from an electric toothbrush — like an oscillating head or sonic features — your arsenal becomes even more powerful.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste to bolster the natural defenses of your teeth. Fluoride boosts the replenishment of enamel.
- Brush for at least two minutes. This can be a challenge for some kids, so they might need some coaching. Some electric toothbrushes have alarms or timers to help with this, and you can use phone apps or favorite songs to help with the countdown.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash to follow through with prevention and protection.
- Visit your strategic advisors, the Yuba City Dentistry Group, for regular checkups and exams at least twice a year.
Fixing a Breach
Even if we faithfully maintain our defenses, bacteria might still start a cavity. Thankfully, the Yuba City Dentistry Group offers different types of dental fillings to shore up any breaches and stop further damage.
As this war in your mouth continues, forging oral hygiene into a habit will ensure you do not get tired of the battle! If you need further support or answers to your questions, the Yuba City Dentistry Group stands ready to assist. Please call us or schedule an appointment.