Dental Health Blog

5 Effective Ways to Control Tooth Decay and Gum Diseases

“Brush twice a day and floss regularly.” That is the best way to fight tooth decay and gum disease, right?

In short, yes, if you brush and floss regularly, then you have developed a good practice for your oral health which could prevent tooth decay and gum disease; however, not all mouths are made the same and we must consciously recognize that. What might work for you, may not work for someone else and vice versa

We know that in order to take care of our physical and mental health there are daily practices we must partake in. Getting a good night's sleep, eating healthy food and drinking enough water are just a few things we do daily to keep ourselves healthy. Nonetheless, the capacity by which we participate in these practices ranges from person to person. Your oral health practices are similar and understanding your oral health (and risks) can be outlined by your dentist through regular dental exams.

In the meantime, our team of brilliant dentists has put together this quick list of tips on “5 Effective Ways to Control Tooth Decay and Gum Diseases.” Enjoy!

1. Brush your teeth!

Okay, so this isn’t new news, we have all been brushing our teeth since before we can remember; however, did you know that different people need a different brushing schedule, brushing technique and toothbrush? Yep, it’s true. Ideally, we would encourage everyone to brush their teeth every time after they eat as food and drink cause bacteria in the mouth to multiply. But if this isn’t an option for you then we will stress the importance of brushing at least twice a day and particularly at night, before you go to bed. Brushing before bed will remove bacteria that can linger on your teeth for an extended period of time. If you don’t brush before bed, this bacteria will nestle in and potentially cause enamel damaging acid to form, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

The next important thing to consider about brushing your teeth is the type of toothbrush you are using and how you are brushing. While you may feel like you are scrubbing away all of the bacteria with a firm toothbrush, it can actually be causing damage to your teeth and gums. As dentists, we promote using a soft bristle toothbrush and brushing your teeth for about two minutes, with gentle pressure in a circular motion. While brushing, don’t forget to brush your tongue!

2. Floss! Everyday! Please!

We know, we know, flossing is tedious but it is SO important for your oral health. Flossing is a quick task that could benefit you for a lifetime when it comes to your oral health.

So why does flossing work? Flossing gets where your toothbrush can’t and it will remove bacteria that have settled into your gums and under your teeth. Remember, if bacteria sit for too long it can turn into an acid that can then begin breaking down your enamel, and this will eventually turn into tooth decay or gum disease. So, if you choose not to floss the bacteria in your mouth has the opportunity of a lifetime to break down your teeth. Taking the time to floss your teeth once a day can prevent this altogether! We suggest developing a routine when it comes to your flossing and then sticking to it!

3. Skip the sugary and acidic foods!

Coffee, alcohol, sugar, citrus etc. it’s all causing long-term damage to your teeth. Now, we can’t tell you to not indulge in these foods, in fact, we enjoy them too. BUT what you can do to ensure that they are causing less damage to your teeth, gums and mouth is to enjoy them with a glass of water or rinse with water following consumption. Water will dilute the sugar and acid in your saliva so that the bacteria can not reproduce as quickly.

4. Use and consume products with fluoride in them

Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel on your teeth and enamel acts as your teeth’s natural defence against bacteria. Most of us consume and utilize fluoride on a daily basis without knowing it but having an understanding of what products and foods have fluoride in them can benefit your overall oral health. Foods such as spinach, black tea, grapes, and potatoes all have fluoride in them. Most drugstore toothpaste and even tap water also have fluoride in them.

5. Visit the dentist regularly

Lastly, but most importantly, visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist will be able to provide a comprehensive examination and provide you with personal tips and information on how to prevent long-term damage. Visit Stoney Trail Dental located in SE Calgary, today!


Medically reviewed by Dr. Gurshant Grewal - a Registered Dentist on May 4, 2021

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