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Q: What can I do to reduce the risk of tooth decay?

Posted August 20, 2014 in Advice Column, Grimes

A: There are several ways to reduce the risk of tooth decay. First, you should limit the consumption of sugary foods and drinks. If you choose to consume sugary foods or drinks, try to do so with a meal. Your saliva production increases during meals and helps to neutralize acid production. Saliva also helps to rinse food particles from the mouth.

Another way to reduce the risk of decay is to limit snacking in between meals. If you do decide to have a snack during the day try to choose a nutritious food and try chewing sugarless gum afterwards. Chewing sugarless gum will increase your saliva production which will help wash away the food particles and decay-producing acid. Drinking more water throughout the day can help prevent tooth decay because of the fluoride content. If you drink bottled water, look at the label to check for fluoride content.

Finally, brushing twice a day and flossing daily can decrease the risk of tooth decay. It’s also very important to visit your dental care provider twice a year for an examination and prophylaxis. Plus, it always fun to visit the dentist.

Information provided by Matthew Platt, D.D.S., P.C., Grove & Platt Dental Associates, PLC, 1541 S. Third St., Suite 300, 986-4001 and the American Dental Association.

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