Tooth Decay…Are You Prone To It?

Why are some people more prone to tooth decay than others?

The Problem

Lifestyle habits play a big role in whether you get cavities or not. Also a certain percentage of decay-prone folks harbor an over population of bacteria in their mouths that cause tooth decay. If you are decay-prone, you become a high risk dental patient who must alter lifestyle habits and routines.

The Routine

A decay-prone person risks losing all of his or her teeth. So what follows is a “must do” advice. You must be aware of what you eat and drink and increase your brushing and flossing routine. Similar advice is given to a heart patient. The heart patient must change his/her eating habits and develop a daily walking routine. However, if you have no regular routine for brushing and flossing your teeth, don’t get discouraged. Just start somewhere. The best marathon runners didn’t begin by running 10 miles a day. Start slowly and work your way up the hygiene ladder. Brush and floss once a day, before bedtime (to prevent overnight sugar and acid from eating away at your teeth), until it becomes second nature. Then graduate yourself to a twice-a-day brushing and flossing program. In no time, you will be flossing and brushing at least three times a day.

Recommended Tools

  • An electric tooth brush (and keep a traditional toothbrush in your purse or briefcase).
  • Floss
  • An irrigation device that removes food and plaque that can’t be reached by your floss or brush.
  • Fluoride treatments at home.


Dental Care Options

Your hygienist will design a daily mouth care routine and suggest a list of tools for your mouth that will make your cleanings more effective. You need to be monitored every 3-6 months by the hygienist to be sure that your home care is on target. If you need extra fluoride, the hygienist may recommend a prescription fluoride gel, fluoride trays, or give you a fluoride treatment. If you continue to get decay, ask your dentist about giving you a saliva test to see if you are one of the individuals who harbors the bacteria that causes decay.