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help tip: How to Prevent Tooth Decay
Good oral hygiene can help you avoid tooth decay.
Below are some tips to help prevent tooth decay.
Brush with the type of toothpaste your dentist
recommends after eating or drinking. Brush your
teeth at least twice a day and ideally after every meal.
Floss your teeth every day. Ask your dentist for help
and instructions on how to ﬂoss your teeth effectively.
The purpose of ﬂossing is to remove the bacteria from
between your teeth (where a toothbrush can’t reach)
every 24 hours, so that they can’t stick (plaque) to the
teeth and cause decay.
Rinse your mouth. If your dentist feels you have a
high risk of developing tooth decay, he or she may
recommend that you use a mouth rinse with ﬂuoride.
Visit your dentist regularly. Get professional teeth
cleanings and regular oral exams, which can help
prevent problems or spot them early. Your dentist
can recommend a schedule that’s best for you.
You can prevent
Consider dental sealants. Dental sealants are a thin,
plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of back
teeth. Sealants ﬁll the deep grooves that tend to collect
food and the bacteria that cause tooth decay. The sealant
protects tooth enamel from plaque and acid. The Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention recommends sealants
for all school-age children. Research shows that sealants not
only protect teeth, but can also stop decay in the beginning
stages, preventing future cavities.
Drink more water. Drink water after meals and snacks, in
addition to brushing twice a day and ﬂossing every day.
Avoid sugary snacks and drinks. Whenever you eat
sugary foods or drink beverages other than water, you help
the bacteria in your mouth create acids that can destroy
your tooth enamel. If you snack or drink throughout the
day, your teeth are under constant attack.
Eat nutritious and balanced meals. Avoid foods
that get stuck in grooves and pits of your teeth for long
periods, such as candy or cookies, or brush and ﬂoss soon
after eating them. However, foods such as fresh fruits and
vegetables increase saliva ﬂow, which often helps balance
out the acidity of the bacteria. In addition, sugar-free gum
and unsweetened drinks, including coffee and tea can help
wash away food particles.
Making members shine, one smile at a time www.libertydentalplan.com
2016 LIBERTY Dental Plan How-to-Prevent-Tooth-Decay-English RN 05 2016