When the enamel coating surrounding healthy teeth breaks down, tooth decay is the result.  Tooth decay leads to the destruction of tooth structure and the development of cavities, or holes, in the teeth.  Tooth decay affects millions of people, yet is easily prevented.  The following are some of the easy steps everybody should take to avoid and prevent tooth decay.

The most crucial steps to preventing tooth decay involve the removal of plaque and debris from the teeth through brushing and flossing.  According to dental associations, all people over three years old should brush at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, and should floss at least once daily to remove food remnants from in between the teeth.  An antimicrobial mouth rinse can also help to reduce plaque and decay.

In addition to maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine, it is important to visit the dentist twice a year for a thorough cleaning and mouth examination.  Even people who are devoted brushers and flossers can’t clean their teeth as thoroughly as a professional can, and dentists can detect and eliminate early signs of decay.

A healthy diet is also an important factor in the fight against tooth decay.  Foods and drinks that are high in sugar are likely to form the acid that promotes tooth decay by attacking the enamel coating on teeth.  To improve oral hygiene and limit tooth decay, it is important to limit sugar and carbonated snacks.