Good Oral Hygiene is Important to Prevent Tooth Decay

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You’ve heard it for gazillions of times since you were a kid. Brush your teeth three times a day and don’t eat lots of sweets and candies. It’s like a broken record at home from your mom and dad all the way to your kindergarten and primary school teachers. And they tell you why- to prevent tooth decay. It’s as simple as that, but now that you’re an adult, do you know the connection between good oral hygiene and tooth decay? Meaning the details of it and what really goes on. Well, if you don’t yet, it’s time that you should.

Photo of dentist and patient
You should have a regular dental visit at least every 6 months or as recommended by your dental professional.

Tooth decay is known as the focal demineralization of a tooth, quite a high-sounding fancy term. But you know how it goes when you have tooth decay. Your tooth becomes painful and it worsens every time you drink something hot or cold, or when you breathe in cold air. Foul breath may also become a problem, and so is bad taste in the mouth. Your teeth become sensitive and they could break easily. When dental caries or tooth decay turns severe, abscesses and puss-filled sacs can start forming in the gums. But first thing, how do dental caries develop? The main cause of this dental problem is the presence of acid on the surface of the teeth.

Acid which causes the decaying of the teeth is produced by bacteria. In turn, these bacteria thrive in your mouth because of plaque. Streptococcus mutans are the most common kind of bacteria causing tooth decay. Bacteria such as these which live in the mouth eat the same products as we do. Apparently, they live as parasites in our mouths. And they produce lactic acid as excretory material, the main factor in the formation of tooth decay. And what about sugar and starches? What have they got to do with this dental disease? Dental caries-causing bacteria like to feed on sugar and starches.

You basically feed bacteria their main course if you eat lots of those. So mom and pops had a good point when they said eat less sweets and candies. It would reduce the production of bacteria in your mouth which will lead to lesser acid production in it. Millions of bacteria actually live in the oral cavity. If you have poor dental hygiene, you’d be setting the perfect environment for the growth of bacterial colonies. These bacterial colonies are otherwise known as plaque, the common consequence of poor oral hygiene. Dental plaque is basically the home of oral bacteria. So now it’s probably clear to you how important good oral hygiene is- to prevent the growth of oral bacteria which in turn would not cause acid production.

And so decaying teeth will not be a problem, because they won’t develop. So make good oral hygiene a habit- brush after every meal and then floss. Visit your dentist regularly for check ups and evaluation of your dental health. You’d be sparing yourself from much trouble if you do these basic health measures. Not only will you prevent tooth decay and gum disease, but you become more confident in your social dealings as well.

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