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What is Tooth Decay and How it Can Be Prevented

Tooth decay is a degenerative oral health condition that takes place due to the breakdown of tooth enamel. The destruction of tooth structure associated with decay may result in the development of holes in the teeth, more commonly referred to as cavities. It is often caused as result of dietary choices and bad oral hygiene habits. The foods that we eat contain sugars and starches. When these foods are left on the teeth, plaque combines with the bacteria that live in the mouth, producing acids that damage the tooth enamel causing tooth decay.

Tooth Decay Prevention

Tooth decay affects millions of people, but it can be easily prevented. To prevent tooth decay:

  • Brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day with fluoride-containing toothpaste. It is recommended to brush after each meal and especially before going to bed.
  • Floss daily to remove food debris from in between the teeth. It is an important part of oral hygiene that removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line, where a toothbrush cannot always reach.
  • Maintain a healthy diet of nutritious foods. Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit the amount of junk food you consume. Avoid foods rich in carbohydrates such as candy, pretzels and chips as they can remain on the tooth surface. If you eat sticky foods, brush your teeth soon afterwards.
  • Use an alcohol-free dental mouthwash that contains fluoride to help prevent tooth decay. Mouthwash should not be used directly after brushing. Choose a separate time to use mouthwash, such as after lunch. It is advisable not to eat or drink for 30 minutes after using a fluoride mouthwash.
  • Have dental sealants (a plastic protective coating) placed on the biting surfaces of the back teeth. This will protect them from decay.
  • You may drink fluoridated water. At least a pint of fluoridated water each day is needed to protect children from tooth decay.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and oral examination.

Call Dr. Aki Shirakura DDS, at 914-303-6150

If you are having problems with tooth decay and want to know how to prevent tooth decay in the future, call the office of Dr. Aki Shirakura, DDS for advice. You can call us at 914-303-6150 or email us at draki@drakicosmeticdentist.com. We provide beneficial tooth decay treatment.


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