Brushing Away Tooth Decay: Keeping Teeth Healthy with Proper Oral Hygiene

Every great smile comes from healthy, white teeth. Healthy teeth are the result of proper oral health habits and regular visits to the dentist. The human tooth has an outer layer called the enamel, a middle layer referred to as dentin, and the core of the tooth which is called the pulp. When a person eats, the bacterium that comes from the food create acids that, if not given enough attention, gradually dissolve and eat away at the layers of the teeth. If the The more layers the acid decays, the worse the damage it results in. This is what is often referred to as tooth decay.Once the acid reaches the pulp of a tooth, the tooth dies, and a pus-filled pocket called an abscess will form in bone at the bone at the end of the root.

Tooth decay can be prevented by limiting oral bacteria and by eating healthy foods. Two of the best ways to limit the amount of bacteria that accumulates in a person’s mouth are brushing and flossing. Brushing teeth can be a great way to reduce the bacteria in the mouth. Dentists recommend that teeth should be brushed two times a day, once in the morning and again before bedtime. The ideal toothbrush should have soft, round-ended bristles that reach all parts of the teeth and mouth. It can be used for up to three or four months before it has to be replaced.

Dental experts also recommend the use of fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a chemical substance that prevents tooth decay by controlling bacteria buildup and making teeth stronger and more resistant to the acids that cause decay. It has also been found to be helpful in repairing teeth that were damaged by plaque. Some fluoride toothpastes also have active ingredients that prevent the accumulation of hard minerals, or tartar, in the teeth. When brushing, the toothbrush should be at a 45-degree angle where the teeth and gums meet. Scrubbing the teeth is not recommended because clinical studies have shown that excessive or vigorous brushing can actually lead to gum problems, which may result in damage to the teeth’s enamel layer.

It is important to brush all the surfaces of the teeth, while paying special attention to the front teeth and all the surfaces of the molars or back teeth. Chewing surfaces can and should be brushed vigorously with short back and forth strokes. After brushing the teeth, the tongue should get cleaned too. Most people brush their tongue with toothpaste and a special tongue cleaner, however cleaning the tongue with the same toothbrush works just as well. Some toothbrushes have a built-in tongue cleaner incorporated into it. Cleaning the tongue helps remove plaque which encourages the growth of bacteria and causes bad breath. Frequent and regular visits to dentists and oral care experts such as Dr. Domenick Coletti can help stop tooth decay. Dr. Domenick Coletti  is a dental and oral care expert, who also served as a Division Chief and Associate Professor from The University of Maryland.