• When You Brush Your Teeth, Do Your Gums Bleed?

    If your gums bleed regularly when you brush your teeth, you may be suffering from the early stages of periodontal disease. The earliest stages of this disease of the gums causes inflammation of your gum tissue, followed by bleeding from your gums when you brush. If you don’t take care of periodontal disease, it can progress to causing significant damage to the soft tissues and bones in your mouth, and can lead to loss of teeth.

    Periodontal disease usually begins because of inadequate brushing and flossing. Both help remove bacteria from your mouth, and bacteria leads to plaque, which begins the steps that lead to periodontal disease. Some people are more prone to gum problems because of diabetes, certain medications, hormonal changes for women, other illnesses, and susceptibility because of genetics. But for the majority of the population who don’t have those issues, there is a direct link between inadequate oral health care and periodontal disease.

    The initial physical sign of periodontal disease is inflammation of the gums, which is called gingivitis. Your gums will look red and swollen and when you brush, your gums may bleed easily. At this stage, you won’t be dealing with bone or tissue loss.

    However, the next stage of periodontal disease is much more impactful on your oral health. If your gingivitis is not taken care of, the inflammation in your gums will move into the area around your teeth. Your gum tissue will begin to move away from your teeth and form pockets of infection. At this point, your bones, gums and tissue that support your teeth can be destroyed if left untreated.

    So now that you know what happens if periodontal disease takes up residence in your mouth, what can you do to prevent this nasty oral health disease? Follow these four simple tips:

    Be sure to brush your teeth twice daily and always use a toothpaste with fluoride

    Make a habit of flossing daily to get rid of plaque from between the teeth

    See your dental hygienist every six months for your routine cleaning and a check-up by your dentist

    Avoid smoking

    Follow this basic plan, and you are sure to keep your gums healthy, your teeth happy, and continue to have a winning smile.

    Source: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

     

  • Avoid Stained Teeth with These Three Simple Tips

    If you want to keep your teeth bright and white, but don’t want to cut out the foods and beverages that are most likely to stain your teeth, we have three simple tips you can follow.

    So what foods and beverages are most likely to stain your teeth? The ones that are most intensely colored are the top culprits. The color comes from intensely pigmented molecules called chromogens, which have the unfortunate habit of sticking to the enamel on your teeth.

    Chromogens combine with the acid in certain foods and beverages to deliver a double dose of trouble to your tooth enamel. The acid softens your tooth’s enamel, making it easier for the chromogens to stain your teeth. The chromogens also can get a boost to their staining power from a food compound called tannin.

    Foods and beverages that are the biggest teeth-staining culprits are wine (red and white), black tea, colas, sports drinks, deeply colored sauces (tomato sauce, curry sauce, soy sauce), berries and hard candy.

    To minimize the impact of these foods and beverages on your teeth then follow these three simple steps:

    Consider using a straw. By sipping your beverage through a straw you will help keep teeth-staining beverages away from your teeth especially your front teeth. You probably won’t want to use a straw for coffee or wine, but you should definitely consider using a straw for juices, cola, and iced tea.

    Be sure to swallow promptly. Protect your teeth from stains by promptly swallowing stain-causing foods and beverages (especially beverages). Of course you want to thoroughly chew your food and savor the flavors, but be mindful of the teeth-staining power of what you have in your mouth.

    Be a water swisher. It’s may not always convenient for you to brush your teeth after eating or drinking. Even when it is, it might be better not to: dental enamel is highly vulnerable to abrasion from tooth brushing for up to 30 minutes after the consumption of an acidic food or beverage. So it’s safer simply to swish with water and brush later, once the enamel has had a chance to re-harden. Another way to remove stain-causing substances without brushing is to chew sugarless gum after eating or drinking.

    And don’t forget the importance of brushing and flossing daily and be sure to see a dentist periodically and to avoid smoking or chewing tobacco. These long-term strategies, combined with the simple tips we’ve mentioned, should keep you smiling for years to come.

    Sources: WebMD and Personal Care Dentistry

  • How Clean Is Your Toothbrush?

    When you brush you teeth in the morning, you’re probably not aware of what may be lurking on the bristles of your toothbrush.

    It may be contaminated with bacteria or viruses if you’ve been sick. Even if you haven’t been sick, normal healthy microorganisms can cause infections in your mouth if there is an injury or break in your gum tissues. In addition, a brand new toothbrush still in its packaging might already have bacteria on it since the packaging doesn’t have to be sterile to be sold.

    So what can you do to keep from getting sick from your toothbrush?

     

    Clean It!

    Cleaning your toothbrush might not be at the top of your to do list since you rinse it off every day after you brush. But it’s actually an important item to add to your daily list. Here’s three must dos for your toothbrush to keep it clean:

    Wash it. Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with hot tap water after you brush to remove debris and wash away bacteria. If you’re suffering from a systemic illness or immune system disorder, you should consider regularly soaking your toothbrush in a glass of antibacterial mouthwash or run it through a cycle in your dishwasher.

    Deep clean it. Consider purchasing a toothbrush sanitizer there are a range of them available. They often use ultraviolet light to kill microorganism in as little as three minutes.

    Keep it properly stored. Always store your toothbrush upright in a cup or rack so that it can properly dry out. If you want to put a cover on it, be sure to use one that allows air to circulate to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

     

    Toss It!

    How often should you toss your toothbrush to prevent bacteria from building up on it? Here are a couple of useful tips:

    When to let it go. It’s recommended that you replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if the bristles show excessive signs of wear. Bristles that are frayed will not effectively clean your teeth.

    If you’re ill, get rid of it. Toss your toothbrush if it was used while you were sick. If you share a toothbrush holder with other family members, and one of them is sick, be sure to throw away all of the toothbrushes in the holder. Also, be sure to treat electric or power models the same way you handle an old-fashioned one. Get rid of the brush attachment after an illness or when the bristles begin to show signs of wear.

     

    Don’t Share It!

    If you’re tempted to lend your toothbrush to a family member or friend, just say no. The same advice is applicable if you’re thinking of borrowing a used toothbrush. By sharing, you’re transferring saliva and bacteria to the other person. Remember, bacteria is the first stage of the process that leads to cavities. Plus tooth decay is considered an infectious disease one more reason not to share or borrow a toothbrush.

     

    SOURCE: WebMD

     

  • Sugar Isn’t the Only Culprit When It Comes to Causing Cavities

    What foods or drinks cause cavities? The answer from most people is simple sugar. But while sugar is a major cause of cavities, all carbohydrates can be a cause of cavities. That’s because carbohydrates contain sugars and starches, and when these stick to your teeth, they lead to tooth decay. And a cavity is what happens when a tooth decays. So when you are eating cereal, milk, bread, soda, fruits, cakes or candy, you are bathing your teeth in sugar.

    What is the process that can turn that tasty piece of toast you had this morning into an eventual cavity? It’s a simple process that has five steps:

    You eat or drink a food or beverage that contains carbohydrates (don’t forget, both sugar and starches are in this category).

    Bacteria in your mouth digest these foods and turn them into acids.

    The bacteria combines with acid, saliva and food debris to form plaque, which sticks to your teeth.

    The plaque’s acids dissolve your teeth’s enamel surface.

    As the enamel surface dissolves, small holes are created in the teeth and this is what is called a cavity.

    Does that mean that you should completely avoid carbohydrates to reduce the chance of cavities? Not really, because the real problem isn’t the amount of starches or sugars you are bathing your teeth in from a particular food or beverage, but rather how long it stays on your teeth. As an example, foods that stick to the tops of your molars (in the back of your mouth) and don’t quickly dissolve are tough on your teeth. Foods like starchy chips and crackers or gummy candy are examples of these types of foods. Other foods that are major culprits are soda, juice and hard candies, since they douse your mouth with sugar over an extended period of time as you consume them.

    How can you head off the five-step process that eventually leads to cavities in your teeth? Try these simple steps:

    Drink water lots of water! Drink it every time you eat a meal or have a snack and make sure you vigorously swish it around in your mouth at the end of the meal. By doing this, you’re washing away the acids that formed and remove food debris.

    Pop a piece of sugar-free gum in your mouth at the end of a meal. This will jump start the production of saliva, which is a natural teeth cleaner, and the act of chewing will also remove food debris from your teeth.

    Skip super sticky foods that will stick to your teeth for hours.

    Floss daily and brush twice a day.

    Be sure to drink fluoridated water to strengthen your teeth.

    Feed calcium-rich cheese to your kids and yourself. It’s a wonderful cavity-fighting snack because it stimulates the flow of saliva (a natural tooth cleaner) and neutralizes the mouth acids that wear away enamel.

    Follow these tips and you can still enjoy carbohydrates while reducing the impact on your oral health. 

  • Top Tips to Make Travel Less Stressful on Your Oral Health

    If you travel very often, you probably know how difficult it can be to maintain your oral health routine. But missing a week or two of your regular routine can be tough on your teeth and gums. Eventually, those missed days of brushing, flossing and making good oral health decisions can lead to cavities! So here are five easy tips to follow to boost your oral health when you travel and insure that your smile remains healthy.

    Don’t travel if you have a toothache. Be sure to schedule an appointment before you travel if you are experiencing pain or irritation in your mouth. You really don’t want to end up needing emergency care while you are out of town and away from your usual dentist. And just in case you experience a dental emergency without any earlier warning signs, you might want to research emergency dental clinics in the town where you will be staying.

    Keep travel-sized oral health products handy. Invest in a travel-size toothbrush, small tube of toothpaste, and floss and keep them in your travel bag. That way, you won’t forget to pack them the next time you take a trip.

    Be a fan of probiotics. Research has shown that probiotics help maintain oral health in addition to being great for your gut. Because traveling involves lots of time in communal places that are usually chock-full of germs, taking probiotics can help as a defense against oral health issues.

    Replace your toothbrush. It is usually recommended that you replace your toothbrush every three or four months. That’s because the bristles start to wear down, and more importantly, germs build up on your toothbrush that you can’t remove. But on a trip away from home, all those new germs you are exposed to just compound the potential problems. So when you get home from a trip, toss your toothbrush and break out a new one!

    Embrace the power of gum. Your oral health can get a wonderful boost from chewing gum. It has to be sugarless, and if it has xylitol that is a bonus. So why is chewing gum so powerful? It tastes good, freshens your breath, and removes food stuck between your teeth (kind of like brushing your teeth). Perhaps the biggest benefit of chewing gum is that it helps produce saliva in your mouth. Saliva washes away bacteria in your mouth that can eventually lead to cavities.

    So there you have five easy tips to pump-up your oral health the next time you travel.

    SOURCE: American Dental Association

     

     

  • Can Chewing Gum Actually Help Prevent Tooth Decay?

    Americans love chewing gum. In fact, the average American chews more than 1.8 pounds of gum a year. But is all that chewing gum wrecking the oral health of millions of Americans, leaving them to deal with a lifetime of cavities and problems with their teeth?

    The answer is yes, if that gum is full of sugar. But if that 1.8 pounds of gum chewed annually is sugarless gum, then it is actually a boost for your oral health. In fact, clinical studies have linked the prevention of tooth decay to chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following a meal.

    Why is sugarless gum such a plus for oral health? There are two main reasons. The first is linked to saliva, which your body produces in large quantities when you chew gum. Saliva is the body’s natural way of washing away food debris from your mouth, neutralizing acids that are produced by bacteria in your mouth, and providing disease-fighting substances for your entire mouth. Plus, you’ll get additional calcium and phosphate from the saliva, which helps you naturally strengthen your tooth enamel.

    The second reason is that sugarless gums use sweeteners such as sorbitol, aspartame, mannitol or xylitol. Because they aren’t sugar, they don’t cause cavities because bacteria don’t use them as food. And when bacteria don’t have a ready food source in your mouth, their population in your mouth declines. That means your mouth is a safer place for your teeth.

    Xylitol is especially helpful to your teeth, because it inhibits the growth of one of the main oral bacteria that causes cavities (Streptococcus mutans). Bacteria in your mouth can’t adhere to teeth if there is xylitol present, which slows down the creation of cavities. Plus, if you use xylitol over a long period of time, it reduces the amount of bacteria that can survive in your mouth and cause cavities.

    Recaldent is also added to some sugarless gums, which makes your teeth stronger and reduces tooth decay. The Recaldent hardens the enamel on your teeth, thus making them stronger.

    Remember, chewing sugarless gum is not a substitute for flossing daily and brushing twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. But it can do a good job of helping to supplement your oral health care routine.

    SOURCES: American Dental Association and Colgate

     

  • Healthy Resolutions for a Brighter Smile in 2019

    Are New Year’s resolutions a waste of time or a great idea? Well, if you’re one of the eight percent of people who actually follow through annually on their New Year’s resolutions, then it’s a great idea. For the rest of you…well, maybe not so much. But part of the problem with New Year’s resolutions failing is that many of them are too difficult to stick with.

    But we’ve got nine New Year’s resolutions for you that could have a significant impact on your oral health in 2019 AND are actually accomplishable.

    Practice the 2×2+1 Program

    If you commit to following the 2×2+1 program which means brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, and flossing once daily – your oral health will improve in 2019. To help you to remember to floss, stick your floss container if front of your toothbrush or toothpaste so that you have to pick it up to get at your toothpaste or toothbrush. Also, be sure to keep a container of floss at work, in your car, and in your purse (if you carry one) so that you always have the option to floss on the go. 

    Your Teeth Are Meant for Food

    Your teeth are meant for chewing food, not opening plastic packaging or tearing off bottle caps. They are also not designed for chewing on hard pencils, ice, popcorn kernels, or hard candy. If you do those thing regularly, you will eventually chip or crack a tooth which could eventually require a root canal! 

    Go Sugar Free If You Chew Gum

    If you like to chew gum, then switch your sugar-soaked gum for a sugar-free brand. There are innumerable flavors of sugar-free gum, and you’ll get a bonus if you pick one that has xylitol, a non-sugar sweetener that reduces plaque. Another bonus is that chewing sugar-free gum produces saliva in your mouth, which helps wash away particles of food and acid from your teeth. 

    Grab A New Toothbrush Every 90 Days

    Take a cue from the old adage out with the old, in with the new as you get ready for 2019 toss your used toothbrush for a new one. As you move forward into 2019, be sure to toss your toothbrush for a new one every 90 days. In fact, put it on your calendar so you’ll be sure to be successful with your new toothbrush resolution.

    Lower Your Sugar Consumption

    One of the most significant ways you can reduce your chances of tooth decay is by reducing your sugar consumption. Start 2019 by cutting back on the number of sugary treats you purchase. But be sure to give yourself alternatives for your favorite sugar-packed foods and beverages. Why not drink sparkling water with a twist of lime instead of soda, or chew a piece 0f sugar-free gum with xylitol when you have a sugar-craving. 

    Lose the Habit

    Are you a smoker? If you are, then you are doubling your risk of gum disease and increasing your risk of an assortment of other health problems. So pick a date to stop your unhealthy habit, purge your home of all tobacco, and seek support from your friends and family for this difficult but necessary choice. Also, think about starting or restarting a healthy activity or hobby that will take you mind off the habit you are trying to kick.

    Embrace Fluoride

    One of the most important ways to prevent cavities and tooth decay is by drinking fluoridated water. Fluoride makes your teeth more resistant to attacks from acid in your mouth. Remember, acid is what leads to tooth decay. Most bottled waters don’t contain fluoride, whereas tap water does contain fluoride. You can boost your fluoride by being sure to use toothpaste with fluoride, and getting a fluoride treatment each time you visit your dentist for a hygiene visit and checkup.

    You Are What You Eat

    Many oral health problems are linked to eating an unhealthy diet. Your entire immune system can be affected by poor nutrition, which can lead to increased susceptibility to periodontal disease (gum disease) and other oral issues. The body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation in your teeth and gums is boosted by the nutrients (especially antioxidants) found in vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes. Raw fruits and vegetables that are crisp – such as carrots, apples and celery – add a bonus to your oral health because they help clean plaque from teeth and freshen your breath.

    Visit Your Dentist – Regularly

    Seeing your dentist every six months for a hygiene visit and checkup is a critical part of a good oral health program. If you don’t have a visit scheduled, be sure to get one on your calendar in January and then make your next appointment at the end of that visit to the dentist. If you are having issues like sensitive teeth or bleeding gums, don’t wait for your twice-a-year visit make an appointment right away.

    Sources: Delta Dental, Colgate

  • Hints to Fresh Breath for Holiday Parties

    The holiday season is stressful enough without having to worry about bad breath at the inevitable holiday parties and family get-togethers that feature rich foods and seasonal beverages. But you can reduce the odds of being burdened with holiday halitosis by following these tips.

    Brush Your Teeth And Your Tongue

    For most people, it’s second nature to brush their teeth prior to attending a party or get-together. After all, all those pesky bacteria that hang around on your teeth and gums are removed by a thorough brushing. But don’t forget your tongue it’s also a favorite place for icky-smelling bacteria to hang out. For work parties, be sure to keep a toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste in your desk or locker at work so you can be minty fresh before the party. Colgate Wisps and FLIX Interdental sticks are also good solutions for on-the-go cleaning of your teeth and tongue.

    Be A Smart Eater

    The holiday season features lots of grazing on delectable foods at parties. All that grazing can leave you with a perpetual case of bad breath during the holidays. Here’s some simple tips to avoid that problem.

    Beware the Buffet: Certain foods provide a source of sulphur-producing bacteria, which can cause stinky breath. The main culprits are brazil nuts, walnuts, smoked salmon, eggs, beans, and cream cheese. Eat them in small quantities and be sure to graze on other foods that don’t fall into the sulphur-producing category.

    Pursue Parsley: Don’t think of parsley and mint as decorations on a holiday platter. Grab a sprig or two and munch on them the chlorophyll in them is a proven breath deodorizer and odor neutralizer.

    Have A Veggie: Vegetables are chock-full of water and Vitamin C, and both are effective bacteria fighters. The water helps flush out your mouth and Vitamin C kills odor-causing bacteria. So be sure to grab a handful of veggies periodically when grazing.

    Look for a Lemon: Lemons and other citrus fruits kick start your mouth into producing more saliva. And that’s good, since saliva rinses away bacteria and plaque. Add a slice of lemon to your water, or even better, take a bite of lemon and swish the juice around in your mouth.

    Drink Lots of Water

    A dry mouth worsens bad breath, and alcoholic drinks just exacerbate the bad breath since they dry out your mouth. So keep a glass of water handy if you decide to have an alcoholic drink and sip from it periodically. It will keep your mouth and your body hydrated (and help you prevent a hangover).

    Keep Sugarless Gum Handy

    If you feel like you overdid it on onions or garlic, or your breath still smells foul, grab a stick of sugarless gum to chew. It will provide a double bonus by increasing saliva production in your mouth to rinse away bad-smelling bacteria and cover up odors.

    Source: Colgate.com, Express.CO.UK

  • Brighten Smiles This Christmas With These 9 Stocking Stuffers

    Candy canes and chocolate are usual go-to items for stuffing Christmas stockings. This year, why not add some mouth-friendly items that will enhance your child or partner’s oral health and help brighten their smile?

    We have nine ideas for you this Christmas that are sure to light up the faces of the recipients.

    Chewing Gum With Xylitol: Putting gum infused with Xylitol in stockings will provide a double bonus. Chewing gum following a meal stimulates saliva in your mouth, and saliva is extremely efficient at acting as a buffer to acid and removing food particles from your mouth. And if the gum contains the natural sweetener Xylitol, the user will get a second benefit studies have linked regular use of Xylitol to reduced tooth decay.

    Toothpastes With Flavor: You’ve probably heard of bubble-gum flavored toothpaste, or mint-flavored toothpaste. But how about chocolate, ice cream, cupcake, or bacon-flavored toothpaste. In fact, you can even get pickle-flavored toothpaste (we say ‘ick’ to that)! Get your kids (and even adults) excited about brushing with a flavored toothpaste. Just make sure it contains fluoride, an essential cavity-fighter.

    Flavored Floss: Spice up your daily oral health routine with some flavored floss. Most floss is pretty boring, but change that this Christmas by putting flavored floss in stockings. You’ll find everything from cinnamon to banana and lots of other options. Remember, the best oral hygiene routine includes brushing and flossing. If flossing is something your family struggles to do, make it easier for them. Put floss picks in their stockings rather than regular string floss.

    Fun Toothbrushes: You should be replacing your toothbrush and your child’s toothbrush every three to four months. Give everyone a new toothbrush this Christmas, and then replace it again at Easter and just before they go back to school in late August. Buy toothbrushes that are fun and appropriate for the different members of your family. Be sure to get soft-bristled toothbrushes for toddlers. There are lots of favorite characters for school-aged children, and smart toothbrushes that play tunes or light up to help a child keep track of how long to brush.

    Colgate Wisps: These are tiny disposable toothbrushes that are perfect for when you’re on the go at work, school or even a night out with friends. They’ve been around awhile, but are so convenient and cute that they are always a good oral health stocking stuffer.

    Electric Toothbrush: This is a great alternative to a manual toothbrush. The basic models are very affordable and you can get them with oscillating, vibrating or sonic brush heads. Some even are themed for kids and play a tune for a couple of minutes to encourage the right amount of time spent brushing.

    Cool Toothbrush Holder: Stuff your child’s stocking with a toothbrush holder that’s sure to get their attention. You’ll find everything from robot to animal-shaped toothbrush holders available. Many depict a favorite character of the child’s and have space for both their toothbrush and toothpaste.

    Plaque-Disclosing Tablets: These are both functional and fun. You use them after brushing your teeth, and any areas that are colored red means you missed that area when you brushed or flossed, since the tablet has a red-colored ingredient that clings to plaque.

    FLIX – Interdental Stick: This is another go-to for cleaning your teeth in-between regular brushings when you’re away from home. FLIX will remove plaque, freshen your breath, massage gum tissue, reduce odor-causing bacteria, and provide a fluoride treatment.

    Sources: Delta Dental, Colgate, FLIX

  • Tips to Keeping Your Smile Bright For a Lifetime

    Keep your family’s gums and teeth healthy for a lifetime by following these 10 tips for good oral health. You’ll help them keep their smiles bright, avoid toothaches and cavities, and even improve their overall health.

    Good oral hygiene can be maintained by spending a few minutes each day on flossing and brushing, along with making smart choices about what you eat and drink. In fact, just about all gum disease and tooth decay can be prevented with proper oral hygiene. Additionally, recent research has linked gum disease to other health issues, including an elevated chance of heart disease.

    Here’s 10 tips to help your family maintain good oral hygiene from their early years to retirement and beyond.

    Begin at an early age. Your child’s first tooth will appear around six months, and that is when you should start your child’s dental care. Start by wiping their teeth with a clean, damp cloth or an extra-soft toothbrush. Once they reach the age of 2, let them try brushing their teeth themselves while you supervise. If you begin when they are young, you can help your child not be one of the 50 percent of kids between 12 and 15 who have cavities.

    Get sealed. Dental sealants are thin protective coatings that your dentist applies to your child’s back teeth to prevent decay. A good time to do this is when you child’s permanent molars come in, which is usually around 6.

    Be a friend to fluoride. The good news is that three out of four citizens of the United States drinks water that is fluoridated. But if you drink mainly bottled water, you’re skipping the fluoride, and missing out on the enamel-strengthening fluoride provides. Most toothpastes and mouth rinses have fluoride in them, and you can ask your dentist about having fluoride applied to your teeth the next time you are in for a visit.

    Practice a 2+1 regimen. Get in the habit and stay in the habit of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Plus, be sure to switch to a new toothbrush every three months.

    Be a swisher or a chewer After meals, swish your mouth with an antibacterial rinse and/or chew sugar-free gum. The antibacterial rinse will kill bacteria in your mouth, and they are the initial culprit in the formation of a cavity. Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva to your mouth, and saliva washes away that dreaded bacteria and the acids they produce.

    Use a mouth guard. If you have a son or daughter playing contact sports, then invest in a custom-fitted mouth guard to ensure their future oral health. Your dentist can make a custom fitting and order a mouth guard for them at an affordable cost.

    Give up the tobacco. Tobacco and good oral health do not go well together. Smoking or chewing tobacco inevitably leads to stained teeth and boosts your risk of gum disease and oral cancer. If you use tobacco, stop. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start.

    Be a smart eater. Your teeth and gums will love you if you eat a healthy diet. Your gums and teeth will get all the nutrients they need if you stick to a well-balanced diet heavy on whole foods. And eat fish the omega-3 fats found in fish have been shown to reduce inflammation, which will lower your risk of gum disease.

    Say no to sugary foods. The bacteria in your mouth (remember them) love sugar, because they consume it and then produce acids. Those acids attack your tooth’s enamel, which can lead to tooth decay. Two sugar-filled items to really avoid are sugary drinks (soft drinks and fruit drinks), which you tend to sip and thus raise the acid levels in your mouth for an extended period of time, and sticky candies, which attach to your teeth.

    See your dentist regularly. Make sure to see your dentist every six months for a hygiene visit and a check-up. That way, any plaque that you haven’t been able to remove will be removed, and any signs of decay will be spotted. Your dentist will also check for any signs of oral cancer or gum disease, and if you are grinding your teeth.

    SOURCE: WebMD