How To Prevent Tooth Decay By Using The Right Type Of Toothpaste

What Is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay occurs when acids produced by bacteria present in your mouth eat away at your tooth. The most common manifestation of decay is the formation of a hole in the tooth, often referred to as a cavity. If not treated right away, tooth decay can cause severe pain, irritation or even tooth loss.

What Are The Common Causes Of Tooth Decay?

The two culprits of tooth decay are bacteria and food. A clear and sticky substance referred to as plaque always forms on your teeth and gums. This contains bacteria that eat the sugars found in the food you consume.

As the bacteria eat, they produce acids. These acids then eat away at your teeth for at least 20 minutes after you finish your meal. Over time, this can cause severe damage to your teeth and lead to decay.

The following are some things that increase your risk of suffering from tooth decay:

-Not brushing and flossing regularly.
-Not going to the dentist for regular checkups.
-Eating foods that contain loads of sugar and carbohydrates, thus supplying the bacteria in your mouth with more food to feed on.
-Insufficient fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that helps make your teeth more resistant to the damage caused by acids produced by bacteria. It is a common ingredient in most toothpaste brands and also typically added to public water supplies.
-Not enough saliva. Saliva is responsible for washing away leftover food in your mouth, helping prevent decay.
-Certain health issues such as diabetes and smoking excessively.

How To Prevent Tooth Decay

Fortunately, tooth decay can be prevented by simply adopting a good oral hygiene routine. Regularly brushing and flossing have been found to reduce the risk of tooth decay significantly. However, the sheer number of choices when it comes to toothpaste can make it difficult to choose which one best suits your specific needs.

The most important thing to look for when choosing what type of toothpaste to use is fluoride. Since the inclusion of fluoride in most toothpaste brands over 5 decades ago, there has been a dramatic decrease in tooth decay occurrence. Fluoride makes the tooth enamel stronger, thus more resistant to acid damage. It can also aid in the remineralization of already damaged areas.  If the demineralization goes too far then you may need to consider Endodontic (root canal) treatment. There are many great Endodontists in Oregon to choose from.

The following are the different types of toothpaste and the functions they serve:

1. Anti-decay Toothpaste

These products contain fluoride compounds, allowing users to build more resistance against acid damage. Those with a fluoride content of at least 1,000 parts per million are considered effective at preventing tooth decay. Children’s toothpaste may contain a lower amount of fluoride, usually 500ppm or lower.

2. Tartar Control Toothpaste

When plaque isn’t removed from the surface of teeth and gums, it can solidify and turn into tartar. There are anti-plaque toothpastes on the market that can help prevent gum disease. Zinc citrate is usually used as the active ingredient in these products.

 3. Desensitizing Toothpaste

This is the toothpaste of choice if you suffer from sensitive teeth. It typically contains strontium chloride or potassium nitrate. It works by interrupting the neuron response to pain stimuli.

4. Whitening Toothpaste

This type of toothpaste contains abrasives that remove stains from the surface, effectively polishing the teeth. Some abrasive articles may also bind to the stains and make it easier to pull them off the surface of the teeth.

Keep in mind that regularly brushing and flossing can go a long way in maintaining the health of your teeth. Be sure to select the right type of toothpaste with the help of your dentist.