A family dentist can help ensure that your teeth remain healthy throughout your life. Teeth are often lost due to decay. Here are a few recommendations that your dentist may make to help you maintain your oral health at different stages of life.
Chew Sugarless Gum That Contains Sodium Bicarbonate
Dental decay is the demineralization of the tooth material that occurs as the teeth come in contact with bacterial acids. The acids are digestive byproducts that are produced by the oral microbes as they feed on sugars in the mouth.
These acids dissolve the minerals that comprise the tooth enamel, allowing holes, or cavities, to form. An alkaline substance, such as sodium bicarbonate, can neutralize the acids before they cause damage to the teeth.
The ingredients of some sugarless types of gum include sodium bicarbonate. If the gum is chewed immediately after meals, it can help safeguard the teeth against decay.
Don't Allow Bottles at Bedtime
The use of the bottle, especially at bedtime, can increase the likelihood that a child will suffer dental decay. The bottle's contents slowly seep into the mouth where the liquid can pool, bathing the teeth in sugars that feed the acid-producing oral bacteria. Even healthy liquids, such as juice and milk, contain natural sugars.
Some children are allowed to drink from a bottle to soothe them to sleep. Since the swallowing reflex is relaxed during periods of rest, the teeth may be bathed in natural sugars for lengthy periods, causing a serious form of decay called baby bottle decay.
Rinse Daily With a Chlorhexidine Mouth Rinse
In addition to brushing and flossing, your dentist may suggest the use of a chlorhexidine mouth rinse. The mouthwash helps kill oral bacteria and can be used after you brush and floss. Some mouth rinses include alcohol as an antimicrobial agent. The alcohol does kill oral bacteria, but it also dries out the mouth. Dry mouth is associated with a higher incidence of decay. The saliva of the mouth is not only a natural lubricant, but it also helps wash away particles of leftover food and dilutes oral acids. When there is too little saliva in the mouth, the acids remain more concentrated, causing greater harm to the teeth. Chlorhexidine is an antibacterial ingredient that does not dry out the mouth. Thus, it is often preferred by dentists.
To learn more ways to preserve your oral health, schedule a consultation with a family dentist in your local area.