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5 Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy takes regular work. Slacking off, especially when it comes to flossing, can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. To help you keep your teeth healthy and pearly white here are 5 easy things you can do every day:

  1. Pack a toothbrush in your lunch
    Ideally you should brush your teeth after every meal so that food particles and bacteria don’t have time to sit. Bacteria feeds on the sugars that make up the food particles, so leaving food on your teeth and gums encourages bacteria growth. As bacteria multiply, the likelihood of you experiencing tooth decay and gum disease goes up dramatically. By packing a toothbrush in your lunch, or even just leaving a spare one in a travel case in your desk, you can brush your teeth right after lunch instead of having food particles and bacteria sit on your teeth until after dinner or even bedtime.

  2. Fluoride is your friend
    Using a mouthwash or toothpaste that is fortified with fluoride is an excellent way to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens tooth enamel, making teeth more resilient against decay. Fluoride is absorbed into your teeth via the tooth surface and will not only strengthen weakened enamel but can actually make it stronger than it was to begin with.

  3. Don’t skip your 6 month checkup and cleaning
    One of the best ways to prevent and reverse tooth decay is to catch it early. By ensuring you visit your dentist every 6 months you can learn about potential problems before they occur. Dentists and Dental Hygienists know what the early warning signs of tooth decay and gum disease are and will be able to advise you on the best course of action. Going to the dentist every 6 months also gives your Dental Hygienist a chance to remove stubborn tartar buildup. When bacteria and food particles are not removed promptly they form plaque, which can harden into tartar if left to sit. Tartar is harder to clean than plaque, and can’t be removed by brushing and flossing alone. When you go for your bi-yearly cleaning, your Dental Hygienist will remove any built up tartar and then fortify your teeth with a strong fluoride rich compound.

  4. Chew sugarless gum
    According to the American Dental Association, chewing sugarless gum is actually good for your teeth. The act of chewing increases saliva production, which in turn washes away plaque and bacteria, which cause tooth decay. However, chewing gum that contains sugar is bad for your teeth because the sugar gets deposited between your teeth where it is harder for you to remove. If you don’t have a toothbrush handy after eating ,sugarless gum offers a handy and fairly effective way to reduce your likelihood of experiencing tooth decay.

  5. Don’t forget to floss
    Flossing is an important part of your daily oral hygiene routine. Flossing is integral to removing the food particles that get stuck between your teeth. Your toothbrush is unable to get into those small spaces, and while mouthwash will kill the bacteria living there, it will not remove food particles or plaque that are already there. Floss your teeth at least once per day, preferably before bed. Saliva production decreases during sleep, which means there is less of it to rinse away food particles and bacteria than during the day. By flossing right before bed you reduce the likelihood of food particles and bacteria being left to flourish overnight.

These 5 things can easily be incorporated into your daily routine, helping you prevent tooth decay and gum disease. For more information on how to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, or to book an appointment, call the Marlborough Dental Clinic today at 403.248.2066 and visit

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