Breaking Free: The Secret to Prevent Dental Decay
Dental decay is preventable, and as a dentist, I genuinely wish my patients had a deeper understanding of how to avoid it. When I encounter a new patient with multiple dental decays, ranging from small to large sizes, I can't help but feel that I should have met them earlier. It's disheartening to see them now having to visit the dental office multiple times, disrupting their work or daily routines, just to treat the disease and prevent further consequences.
I do not blame patients for experiencing dental decay. There are numerous reasons why it occurs, such as financial constraints, fear or anxiety about dental visits, lack of awareness, or other personal circumstances. I understand that the idea of maintaining dental health may not have been emphasized strongly enough to provide sufficient motivation. It's a struggle we all face when it comes to discipline, whether it's going to the gym, eating healthy, reducing oil and sugar intake, or waking up early in the morning. Managing our health and bodies may seem simple, but it is undoubtedly challenging. The disciplines we need to maintain don't always show immediate consequences. Missing one brushing won't immediately lead to dental decay.
We all know that brushing and flossing are important, just as we all know that drinking lots of water, exercising, and eating healthy are important. However, let me assure you that having disease-free dental health saves you from many troubles: it saves your time, money, relationships (if you have bad breath), low self-esteem, and more. For instance, a good toothbrush costs only $10, while a single dental implant can range from $3000 to $5000. Smiling confidently can bring you career success and foster new relationships. The benefits are countless. Teeth are incredibly important. They complete your smile, enhance your enjoyment of food, and give you confidence when speaking.
I understand that you may feel fatigued from hearing the repeated advice on preventing dental decay, such as reducing sugar, maintaining regular brushing and flossing, using mouth rinse, increasing milk consumption and water intake, and avoiding sugary drinks like Coca Cola or soda.
If you prefer a concise approach, I will unveil the secret: the key is to brush spotless.
By brushing spotless, you can elevate your dental hygiene and prevent cavities. Any neglected surfaces can quickly become a breeding ground for decay. Thorough brushing disrupts the bacterial growth cycle and removes plaque. Incorporating fluoride toothpaste into your routine strengthens your tooth enamel, making it more resistant to acid attacks and decay.
To achieve spotless brushing, pay attention to the following tips:
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your enamel or gums.
Brush gently in circular motions, reaching all tooth surfaces, including the front, back, and chewing surfaces.
Don't forget to brush along the gumline to remove plaque and prevent gum disease.
Spend a minimum of 2 minutes (3 minutes is even better but not 30 seconds...!) during each brushing session to ensure thorough coverage.
If you're unsure about proper brushing techniques, please come and visit us. We are here to teach you and share our tricks. Flossing comes into play because you cannot effectively brush the surfaces in between your teeth. Remember, missed spots will become cavities. In future posts, I will delve deeper into the importance of flossing and provide tips for proper technique.
This is all I have to say. Just remember: Brush Spotless!
Posted by Dr. Gloria Jung, DDS, BSc