Protecting Your Teeth From Decay

Tooth decay can cause a great deal of damage to your teeth. In fact, a cavity can grow so large, that it necessitates the removal of a tooth. Still, decay can be avoided if the right precautions are taken. 

Use an Oral Irrigator if Your Teeth Are Crowded or Tightly Aligned

Many people who don't have straight teeth experience problems using traditional dental floss. When the teeth are crowded or too closely set, the floss can become snagged between the teeth or even break during its insertion between into the interdental spaces. As a result, people with crowded teeth may skip flossing altogether.

Skipping flossing permits the buildup of plaque between the teeth. As the bacteria within the plaque release oral acid, the acid dissolves the minerals within the tooth material, and tooth decay occurs. 

If flossing with traditional string floss is too difficult due to dental crowding, an oral irrigator can help. Oral irrigators release a stream of water that can be directed between the teeth. The force of the water flow dislodges plaque and debris from tight areas that cannot be reached using regular string floss. In addition, oral irrigators can even help keep the gums healthy.

Never Go to Sleep Without Brushing Your Teeth

When you have had a long day, it can be easy to succumb to the desire to head straight to bed without brushing your teeth. However, when you are asleep, your teeth are in one of their most vulnerable states.

As you sleep, your salivary glands produce less saliva. This is a natural occurrence that coincides with the relaxation of your swallowing reflex. In effect, sleep brings on a period of dry mouth.

Dry mouth is associated with a greater risk of tooth decay because there is too little saliva available to combat oral acids. Saliva dilutes the acids within the mouth and helps increase the pH within the oral cavity.

By failing to brush before bedtime, you leave large numbers of bacteria in place to release acid that will not be diluted. In addition, bits of edible debris from your meals and snacks provide a ready food source for the microbes. Oral bacteria release acid as they digest or metabolize carbohydrates in your mouth. As a result, by going to bed without brushing, you increase your chance of tooth decay. 

To learn more ways to protect your teeth from tooth decay, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your local area. You can also check out a website like for more information.