Tooth decay is among the leading causes of tooth loss for Americans, and it can open the door to developing serious overall health problems.

Just as healthy habits can help to ensure your overall well being, healthy dental habits can safeguard against tooth decay and avert other dental problems, as well.

To minimize your chances of developing tooth decay, stick to these 6 healthy dental habits.

1.     Brush thoroughly and frequently. Brushing your teeth is the best thing you can do to protect yourself between dental appointments. Brushing every morning and every night is the minimum to maintain quality oral health.

2.     Floss daily. Brushing your teeth is not enough. Flossing can get in between your teeth and close to your gum line in a way that your toothbrush can’t. Flossing twice a day is ideal, but be sure to floss before you go to bed if you can only do it once daily.

3.     Have regular dental checkups. Having regular dental exams and checkups every 6 months is a crucial part of your oral health. In addition to cleaning your teeth, you will be screened for early signs of serious oral conditions, such as oral cancer and gum disease.

4.     Limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks. Sweets stick to your teeth and can lead to tooth decay when bacteria feed on them and form acids. If you eat something sugary, be sure to brush your teeth and/or swish your mouth with water immediately to rid your teeth of bacteria.

5.     Drink tap water. Though bottled water may seem more convenient and healthier, it’s lacking something very important for your teeth: fluoride. Many areas of the U.S. have fluoridated water, so simply drinking it will help to protect your teeth.

6.     Get sealants. Sealants are used to coat and cover the back teeth to build a barrier that bacteria cannot penetrate. Dental sealants are recommended for children to promote lifelong dental health.

The team at Brighton Family Dental Group wants to do everything they can to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you live in Brighton, Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, or Newton, call today at (617) 562-5210 to reserve your appointment time.