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Taking good care of your teeth will ensure a bright and beautiful smile. When you slack on brushing and flossing, oral care problems may result, which can lead to cavities and gum issues. Tooth decay is what happens when plaque produces acids that will eat away at the enamel. After the damage has been done, can tooth decay be reversed? You can’t always reverse tooth decay, but you are able to prevent it with proper oral care. Here are just a few tips and tricks that can help.

Brush, Floss, Rinse, Repeat

Your daily dental habits are your first line of defense against tooth decay. Because plaque is always a threat to your oral health, you should brush it away twice a day to prevent tooth decay. Daily flossing will rid your teeth of the plaque and leftover food particles that your toothbrush couldn’t reach before plaque can turn into tartar or calculus.  Flossing also reduces your risk of gum disease and cavities. Adding mouthwash to your daily regimen can reduce plaque and control decay.

Choose Fluoride

Fluoride is an essential part of keeping your teeth healthy. It helps prevent tooth decay from getting worse, and it can reverse mild decay as well, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Fluoride works by preventing and replacing mineral loss in tooth enamel and stopping bacteria from producing acid. You can get your daily fluoride by brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste, rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash, and drinking fluoridated water.

Chew Sugarless Gum

Did you know that sugar-free gum has dental benefits? First of all, the act of chewing gum stimulates your saliva production, which helps to neutralize and wash away acids on the teeth that can cause decay. Your teeth get extra protection when you chew sugar-free gum that’s sweetened with xylitol, a sugar substitute that prevents decay by stopping acid production, decreasing bacteria and enhancing the remineralization of teeth. Sugarless gum can be a great backup option between your regular brushing and flossing sessions while you’re on the go, and fresh breath is a nice bonus.

Follow Up with Your Dentist

So, can tooth decay be reversed? There are no magical cures for tooth decay, and your teeth are better off if you take steps to prevent tooth decay instead of trying to undo what most often can’t be undone. Be sure to show up to your regular check-up and hygiene appointments. You can also ask your dentist about getting dental sealants over your molars and premolars; sealants provide a protective coating to block out acids and bacteria. By continuing to give your teeth the loving care that they deserve, you’ll ensure that they are in top shape for years to come.